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Where do the Blackhawks Sit in Sportsnet’s Mid-Summer Ratings?

Plus: CHN looks back at their 2022 Rankings to see just how close Sportsnet was

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They have Connor Bedard which helps. But beyond that, there isn’t much expectation outside of letting the younger players who do make the team grow into their roles with the Chicago Blackhawks.

So maybe it’s why there shouldn’t be any surprise that the Blackhawks clock in the bottom third of Sportsnet’s Mid-Summer ratings.  Let’s dive in.

Blackhawks Aren’t the Worst Ranked

There’s the good news. The Hawks clock in at #30, with only the San Jose Sharks and Philadelphia Flyers placing lower than Chicago. What are the thoughts?

30. Chicago Blackhawks: The thing about doing power rankings in the summer — when optimism abounds and nobody has had a debilitating training camp injury of seen a goalie they were counting on fall flat — is you go through a lot of teams before finally reaching the ones you can confidently (sort of) say won’t be good. We’ve arrived at that point. 

Ouch. But it’s hardly surprising. The Blackhawks are icing a team on shorter term deals while likely having Bedard in his #98 on the ice when their regular season opens in Pittsburgh October 10. Production will have to come from different spots but truth be told, Andreas Athanasiou led all scorers on the current roster with 40 last year. Only he and Taylor Raddysh registered 20 goals.

New addition Taylor Hall clocks in with 36 points (16-20) while Nick Foligno and Corey Perry chipped in 26 and 25 points respectively.

Bedard is likely to produce and maybe Kevin Korchinski, who was dynamite in the Western Hockey League, sticks and can help produce as well. But while the descriptor is straightforward and without any mention of the high point of Bedard, it’s on point.

The Blackhawks are looking for another spin at the lottery while still maintaining competitiveness.

How does the Central Stack Up?

The Colorado Avalanche lead all teams, ranked first. The rest?

  • Colorado Avalanche (1st)
  • Dallas Stars (8th)
  • Minnesota Wild (17th)
  • Nashville Predators (20th)
  • Winnipeg Jets (24th)
  • St. Louis Blues (25th)
  • Arizona Coyotes (28th)
  • Blackhawks (30th)

An interesting note from the rankings: The Central sees a huge gap from its second ranked team to its third, with the majority of the power being in the Eastern Conference. If the rankings would stand as set, the Central would see three teams in the playoffs with both divisions splitting a wild card team. But the Pacific also has Vegas (2nd), Edmonton (3rd) and LA Kings (10th) rounding out its top three.

What does Hindsight Say?

So last year, Sportsnet conducted the same mid-summer ranking. How did they rank out? The Avalanche were again in the top spot, but they would bow out in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Florida came out fourth–and they were a Stanley Cup runner up. The Bruins who set an NHL record with wins? 14th. The division threatening Devils? 23rd. The playoff missing Penguins? 8th.

The Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights? 16th. The Blackhawks were dead last, and here’s what was written heading into the 2022-23 season:

This team is in the infant stages of a huge backward step. And if the Patrick Kane trade we all assume is coming before next year’s trade deadline happens before or early in the season, it’s going to be gruesome in the Windy City. 

They weren’t wrong. But at least it came with Bedard in the Draft. Obviously, these predictors are way outside of the season starting along with who knows what could happen during preseason in the way of risers or injuries.

Regardless, it’s always fun to read and then look back.

Here’s where you can see and read all 32 rankings.

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