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Blackhawks Wrap: Gotta Go Forward to Go Back



The Chicago Blackhawks sit closer to the 2023 NHL Draft which will take some years off of what looked like a longer rebuild. But i on this Sunday’s Cinema and Hockey crossover, it’s a line from the 1971 classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that shapes the weekly wrap.

In the movie, the eccentric and reclusive Wonka finally invites people into his chocolate factory by way of golden ticket. Five were randomly placed in chocolate bars around the world and if lucky enough to find it, it was a chance at the factory tour.

Five completely different kids arrive with their family, and five completely different results occur as a result of their behaviors. But its when they’re all trapped in an elevator before they go to the wondrous haven of candy, made of pure imagination, that Wonka utters one of his many famous lines. As they are finally able to exit, through the same door they arrived, several of the parents balk at going any further. Wonka simply presses on and says: “You gotta go forwards to go back.”

Nothing could be truer for what awaits the Chicago Blackhawks in the next few weeks.

Davidson and the Blackhawks Found a Golden Ticket

By pure luck and happenstance, the Chicago Blackhawks got its golden ticket in the way of winning the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery. The chance to draft a generational player in Connor Bedard takes what appeared to be a long and painful rebuild into a shorter one. Don’t be fooled–it’s still a rebuild. Going forward doesn’t always guarantee success. But taking the journey and making the the most of the fortuitous chances presented.

For the Blackhawks to return to the glory years that were 2010-2015, they have to go forward with what’s ahead. It won’t always be sure footing. Beyond that, it’s not always going to work out. Fan bases and analysts look at draft picks and think only of what could be. Ceilings are taken more seriously than floors. There’s a fear of trading prospects because of what they could eventually turn into.

But it’s what it is–projections. The Blackhawks have 11 chances to pick and if two or three of those picks hit that’s considered a success.  Multiply that out by three years and it’s still not a full team. In spite of that, they go forward finding the right players via trade, and free agency. Getting stuck on what could be or lost in some of the inevitable failures can stunt the growth.

It won’t likely be as easy as it was when the Blackhawks won a Cup just three seasons into the Kane-Toews era. It likelier is longer, potentially at least four years before the words Stanley Cup contender actually sticks. Beyond that, the league is different than it was then and the challengers have more depth than they once did.

That doesn’t matter. What does matter is that like Wonka and the five potential suitors for a lifetime of chocolate, the right person ends up being chosen.

From there if they build wisely, they can keep going forward in order to go back to the glory days.

CHN Top Ten Must Reads

  1. The Blackhawks are listening in on offers for Connor Bedard narratives are ridiculous. Please stop.
  2. Are there tendencies or clues in Kyle Davidson’s first draft as Chicago’s GM?
  3. Instead of a buyout, could the Blackhawks take some bad contracts off the books for some teams?
  4. Three different analysts. Only two different choices for the Blackhawks at pick #19.
  5. A closer look at the 2020 draft which had Lukas Reichel as the headliner
  6.  Patrick Sharp leaves the Blackhawks and heads back to Philadelphia for a front office job
  7. Adin Hill and Antti Niemi have some parallels. Will Hill cash in like Niemi did after a strong playoff performance?
  8. Stan Bowman’s last draft was arguably one of his best. Here’s a look at what he did
  9. The 2015 Stanley Cup clincher was a memorable one. Here’s a look back at three big moments from the game.
  10. The Final Hockey Now Mock Draft from Montreal Hockey Now has the Blackhawks taking a forward

Finally, Some Gratitude

It’s been just over a month and a half that Chicago Hockey Now has been operating. A sincere thanks again for the support so far. It’s mind boggling to think that CHN is approaching nearly 1000 followers on Facebook while the same people keep coming back to read each day. If you haven’t already, please give us a like and a follow on our Facebook page  and on Twitter @Chihockeynow

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