Connect with us

Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks Rebuild Report: ’21-22 Resets it All



Today we look at the 2021-22.

The Blackhawks 2021-22 Season in Review

It all finally collapsed. It wasn’t supposed to with playoff veteran Tyler Johnson on the team. Seth Jones brought in to solidify the blue line. Marc-Andre Fleury was there to add swagger between the pipes.

But they couldn’t even get out of October with a winning streak. A nine-game losing streak opened the season and losing ten of their first 11 would be the final nail in the coffin for head coach Jeremy Colliton. Stan Bowman was sent packing days earlier, brought down by his part–or not doing enough–to appropriately handle what happened to Kyle Beach.

Derek King would come up from Rockford and do the best he could with what he had. Kyle Davidson would be given the interim general manager tag. But this was the first time reality was truly faced. That for all the posturing, and all the clutching onto the past, the Chicago Blackhawks finally admitted that the greatness of the glory years was not coming back any time soon.

Worse, that greatness lost some of its luster because of how those in authority handled the Kyle Beach situation. Chicago would finish 28-42-12, in dead last place in the division, and humbled to levels they probably never thought possible.

The Aftermath

What happened to Beach and how it was handled remained the main topic for most of the season. Many Blackhawks fans all but quit watching and following out of disgust. The organization would be fined, but vowed to learn from the lessons.

New Team President Danny Wirtz led the charge and new staff was brought in to continue the turn over.

On the ice, it was the same faces leading. Alex DeBrincat recorded 41 goals and trailed Patrick Kane by 14 points to come in second on the team in points with 78. But there wasn’t much else to root for. There were a lot of hard truths Chicago faced during the season and then into the offseason, realizing the hard job ahead.

But the mainstays who had a chance to do right in so many ways were gone. The ego that blocked common sense had disappeared. There would be no re-wins or refusal to rebuild. No, Davidsion was tasked with turning what little had left into acquiring the parts that would be constructed to build it back–and the right way.

The downfall was steady, with an anomaly thrown in during the 2019-20 season that bought the front office more time to continue its re-win policy. Within two years, they’d all be gone–president, general manager, much of the staff and finally, the head coach brought in. Only Colliton lost his job solely for the on-ice product.

It would be a tough road ahead on a number of levels. Their grievous mistakes wrought the change.

The long rebuild, in fact, now went far beyond the ice.


Previous Pieces in the Series: Hastening the Fall (2016-17) | The End of an Era (2017-18) | Some Change But Not Enough (2018-19) | The Mirage of 2019-20 | Regression in 2020-21