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Connor McDavid’s Path A Good Lesson for Bedard and the Blackhawks



It was nearly a decade ago that Connor McDavid was taken first overall by the Edmonton Oilers. Hailed as the greatest generational talent since Sidney Crosby, McDavid didn’t take long to rise to the occasion.

But there was the pesky playoff failures, and worse, the constant chatter that McDavid may never be able to carry the team to the promised land alone. Never mind the flaws of the team or how too many shifts in leadership halted success.

Somehow, McDavid wasn’t doing enough and maybe a change of scenery would benefit him. All of that is a wash after the Oilers captured their first Western Conference title since 2006, powered by a highlight reel goal from McDavid to open Edmonton’s scoring.

Ignoring the noise, digging deep, and on they go. A great reminder for Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks as they launch their rebuild into the next level.

The Connor McDavid – Connor Bedard Comparisons Will Continue

Aside from sharing a first name, Bedard has been compared to McDavid often in terms of being a generational talent. It also stems from him riding into Chicago to save the Blackhawks from what has been a long stretch of losing.

Unlike McDavid, however, Bedard doesn’t quite have the supporting cast yet to launch. In McDavid’s time with Edmonton, he’s seen a lot of ups and downs. It wasn’t until 2020 that the Oilers consistently made the playoffs, and it’s often forgotten just how hard it is to consistently make the dance.

McDavid’s pressure went behond having a generational tag. Having the hopes and dreams of a once proud franchise strapped to his back, all the while with the hopes of returning to former glory.

Sound familiar? It wasn’t until McDavid’s sixth season in the league that the Oilers were consistent contributors to the playoff picture. Even with that consistency, every failure was magnified because the generational guy wasn’t getting it done. Never mind the issues with team construction or cap limitations that made acquisitions tricky.

Somehow, it often ended up as an argument of McDavid not doing enough. Sunday’s win shows the flaw in the argument. True, they haven’t won the Cup quite yet and falling to Florida would rile up the argument all over again.

Regardless of what happens next, McDavid’s journey shows that timelines and paths are hardly linear. The factors that go into it–namely roster construction and cap flexibility–ultimately determine the fate of a franchise.

Connor McDavid has his chance at a Cup. At some point, Connor Bedard will, too. But until then, McDavid’s journey should be another argument to stem concerns should things not go at the speed some fans hope for.

High expectations are important. But so too is a clear mind when momentum swings back and forth. McDavid is evidence of that.

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