On Saturday morning after the Blackhawks’ morning skate, general manager Kyle Davidson spoke with the media.
His most significant comment impacting the next few weeks for the Blackhawks: he has not met with agent Pat Brisson or his two primary clients of concern, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, yet. But he said that should happen in the next couple weeks. He also characterized the trade market as relatively quiet, but did indicate some teams are “doing their due dilligence.”
Davidson spent most of his time speaking about Lukas Reichel‘s recent play in Chicago and his demotion to Rockford. He said they still want him to play as a “go-to” guy in Rockford and see meaningful minutes in games that matter for the team. Rockford is in position to participate in the AHL playoffs, and that has been stressed as an important development factor. And Davidson said he’s going to play center in Rockford.
Davidson was strong in his comments about the value of being able to have a hands-on approach to development in the AHL level, something the Blackhawks do not have the ability to do with players who are still in junior or college. And Davidson said there are probably a few others players in Rockford who could play in the NHL right now and they might get exposure to the top league at some point as injuries (and, eventually, trades) open opportunities.
“Let’s call a spade a spade: we’re chasing most games here, and I don’t necessarily think that’s conducive to extremely positive development.”
He was also asked if it’s hard on the coaching staff to have a valuable player like Reichel go down to the AHL. But, once again, Davidson reiterated that he and head coach Luke Richardson are on the same page regarding development and Richardson knew going into this season how the play would likely play out.
Here’s the full video of Davidson’s media availability from Saturday: