In the first of a quick two-part series, Chicago Hockey Now examined the few reasons why Alex DeBrincat could come back to the Chicago Blackhawks.
The truth of the matter, however, is that it’s far likelier, if not certain, that he will not be wearing a Blackhawks sweater again. The proof is more in what general manager Kyle Davidson has said about other Blackhawks players who left rather than what he did about DeBrincat.
#1: He Traded DeBrincat at the Peak of His Production
It doesn’t state that Davidson believes his talents to be a fluke. What it does say, though, is he was going to get maximum value when DeBrincat had a career year. At the time of the trade, many thought he didn’t get enough for DeBrincat. A season later with DeBrincat’s goal count falling by 14, there are some Blackhawks fans changing their outlook on the trade as a whole.
Especially since Davidson took Kevin Korchinski with the seventh overall pick acquired from the Senators, now it looks like a massive win for Chicago as Ottawa seeks to deal him. If Davidson traded him at what he likely considered to be the peak of his value, why would we bring him back?
#2: Why Give Up Assets When It’s Still in a Rebuild?
The Blackhawks gained in trading DeBrincat. Why trade something back for him? Beyond that, there are teams who are ready and willing to part with higher prospects and picks. Chicago won’t do that. Teams that would make the deal include Colorado, Seattle, heck maybe even Vegas. Montreal looks to be bulking up entering the Carter Hart discussion. Pittsburgh could be another entrant. The Detroit Red Wings need top line scoring and have cap space with prospects to deal. Los Angeles could be another option, too.
DeBrincat can push a team over the top or help others escape a rebuild. The Blackhawks aren’t there yet, and beyond that, the final point really centers the argument.
#3: Davidson Has Made It Clear He Wants New and Fresh Voices For the Future
Davidson was blunt when he said that neither Jonathan Toews nor Patrick Kane would return to Chicago. He cited how the former core of Toews, Kane, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith never had to answer to players of another era. In short, they called the shots and grew together.
Said Davidson at the press conference announcing his decision to not offer Toews a contract: “I don’t know if it’s necessarily putting the past behind us. It’s moreso clearing the deck to some extent to allow the organic growth for young players into leadership roles and offer this new era of Blackhawks players the same opportunity that Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook were all offered when they came into the league.”
While DeBrincat isn’t exactly part of that leadership group, he had an “A” on his sweater and had been in the locker room with those leaders. If anyone was taking the torch from the past group and leading into the future, it would be him.
Davidson dealt DeBrincat a year prior. He let one franchise staple walk and dealt another away. These aren’t the actions of someone who will be considering reunions. No, Davidson learned from the errors of his predecessor.
The debate over DeBrincat is simple: he won’t be back.
Missed Part One of the DeBrincat Debate?