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Opinion: A Connor Bedard Price Bump, Rebuild Speed Up or Simply Business?

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Chicago Blackhawks fans have shown up at the United Center and in the Nielsen ratings. The league and the organization can thank Connor Bedard for that.

But is it a reason that the Blackhawks are raising ticket prices for next season–and not by a small margin, either?

The 300-level seats for certain went up. A friend I spoke with explained that his 20-game plan rose from $3100 for the 2023-24 season to now $3750 for 2024-25. That’s a 21% increase for a team positioned to be worse than last season.

But as the Sun-Times Ben Pope pointed out, the rise in price is still in line with costs, and even lower, than the 2021-22 season–which supposedly featured a Blackhawks team with playoff aspirations.

So with how general manager Kyle Davidson has laid out his plan, he’s isn’t going to throw caution to the wind and suddenly start splurging to suddenly make the team push the playoff envelope.

Not yet anyway.

Help is on the Way for Connor Bedard and the Blackhawks

There are a number of viable options on the way, with a few of those names laid out in the latest Blackhawks Stock Index. But even if Frank Nazar, Oliver Moore, Gavin Hayes, and Ethan Del Mastro are in Chicago next season, would it be enough to place the playoffs into the conversation?

What if the Hawks luck out again, snag Macklin Celebrini, and suddenly have an unbelievable one-two punch down the middle. Perhaps that changes the narrative slightly.

After all, the 2005-06 Pittsburgh Penguins were downright abysmal and ended up finding a playoff berth a season later. Some of the situations were slightly different, but they had cornerstones in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin–which is an apt comparison. Add a few high level NHL’ers via trade or even free agency and suddenly things could shift a bit.

So the price change, which may have to do with the Winter Classic being back at Wrigley Field along with Bedard’s appeal at the gate could be a factor. The trajectory and excitement for the team is also rising, too. Prices had been slashed, and the Hawks cashed in with season ticket purchases following the Lottery win. The nature of business dictated a rise in renewals.

But might it signal a slight nudge in the Blackhawks having a chance at going after some bigger names? Maybe.

Perhaps it’s as the old line from the classic The Godfather quips: It’s just business.

Whatever it is, next season’s games will likely have a little more excitement to it–while taking a little more from the fan’s wallet, too.

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