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3 Thanksgiving Thoughts: Blackhawks Have Hope on the Horizon

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Blackhawks fans can’t be blamed for not feeling very thankful for things following the 7-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday night. The 5-12 Blackhawks have now dropped five straight, none worse than Wednesday’s battering on the road.

But there’s always a silver lining–even in some of the darkest moments. Here’s a hat trick’s worth of thoughts for  Blackhawks fans on Thanksgiving–a time when gratitude is promoted.

Connor Bedard is the Real Deal

The 18-year-old forward tallied his tenth goal of the season, another dynamic shot that dropped jaws and had heads shaking–amidst the cheers from the Chicago faithful. Bedard is just four goals off the league lead, and it underscores just how good he really is.

The real building around Bedard will likely begin in the upcoming offseason, but it’s wild to think that if the Blackhawks get more lottery luck what they’ll look like if he’s flanked by another top talent–for many years.

Blackhawks Prospects are Showing Up

Kevin Korchinski is what they hoped he would be in Chicago. So is Wyatt Kaiser and Alex Vlasic. But beyond the big club, there’s Colton Dach, Nick Lardis, Gavin Hayes, Drew Commesso, Frank Nazar and Nolan Allan just to name a few. The prospect pool, which has been covered extensively here at CHN, is budding with talent. It’s unfair to think that all of them will bloom into top tier NHL talents, but there’s certainly enough to fill out the vast majority of the roster someday.

Hope can be a dangerous thing, as the famous movie line goes. But it’s really all a fan has during a rebuild that at times seems never ending.

A Front Office That Gets It

Name a better front office in Chicago right now. The Bears are a tire fire. The White Sox are going through another rebuild. Few can figure out what the heck the Bulls are doing. Maybe the Cubs are the closest thing to the Blackhawks–having vision and a grip on the reality of the situation.

General Manager Kyle Davidson has kept term down so he can build around Bedard in a smart way. Look at Edmonton for what not to do. The veteran leadership he’s brought in has done its job so far. The draft picks he and Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Doneghey have taken are popping all over the place.

As of now, it all looks very good. The real work begins in the coming months and years as with one generational piece in place with Bedard and another foundational piece in Korchinski, Davidson has to find the right pieces both for the culture and skill level–at the right price and term. It’s then we’ll see if the momentum continues.

For now though, there’s a blueprint and it’s one that looks like it’s on track to build a sustainable contender.

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