Angry players forced Chicago Blackhawks to admit they are in a rebuild

The Chicago Blackhawks are changing and the top players on the team were not happy about it. In an article in The Athletic, Mark Lazerus wrote that a source close to the core Hawks were pissed and had enough of what management was doing.

Blackhawks players are upset with moves

The captain of the team, Jonathan Toews spoke out about the team letting go of Corey Crawford. “It’s sad. It’s really disappointing. [Crawford] has given so much to this team,” Toews told Lazerus. “I feel he was ready to bring more in the next few years and still be a big part of this group. He had that mindset that he could help this team go deep in the playoffs again, and there’s no doubt that he could.”

To further upset Toews and players like Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook, the Hawks traded Brandon Saad and let Drake Caggiula and Slater Koekkoek walk. This isn’t what they signed up for.

blackhawks rebuild
Jonathan Toews and Corey Crawford (NHLI)

No one told us we were heading into a rebuild

Toews didn’t stop at those recent decisions, but questioned what is the direction for Chicago. Is this a rebuild now? If so, he isn’t happy about it.

“We prepare ourselves to win a Cup for our fans. I’ve never been told that we were going through a rebuild,” Toews explained. “That has never been communicated to me, for that matter. A lot of this comes as a shock because it’s a completely different direction than we expected.”

Blackhawks admit they are rebuilding

Today, the Chicago Blackhawks finally admitted to exactly what Jonathan Toews was assuming. In a statement on their official website they wrote:

We’d like to address that direction and share why we’re hopeful for the future of Blackhawks hockey. We’re committed to developing young players and rebuilding our roster. We want more than another window to win; we want to reach the summit again, and stay there — an effort that will require a stockpile of emerging talent to complement our top players. The influx of youth and their progression will provide roster flexibility and depth throughout our lineup.

As our young players develop and learn how to win consistently, they’ll make some mistakes. Inevitably, we’ll miss the mark sometimes, too, but we’ll communicate openly with you on this journey together. We know that what comes next must be more than just words, and that inspires us.

So now the cat is out of the bag and Toews and Kane know where the Hawks stand. More importantly for the organization, fans know too.