Last Season Head to Head: Winnipeg Jets win season series 2-1
The Blackhawks had a tumultuous 2021-22. The team stumbled to start the year, leading to the firing of head coach Jeremy Colliton only 12-games into the season. The team was never able to string together enough games to be competitive and finished second last in the Central Division with a 28-42-12 record.
The season results were somewhat overshadowed, however, as the team front office underwent several changes following the sexual assault investigation of the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks. Many senior officials, including GM Stan Bowman, were removed from their roles as a result. This investigation and ongoing consequences will likely follow the organization for many years.
New GM Kyle Davidson went entirely scorched-earth on the roster in the offseason, trading multiple fan favorites. In moves that appear to signal that the team is destined for a high draft pick the Hawks moved on from both Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach via trade. DeBrincat was traded to Ottawa in exchange for a 1st-round pick (#7) and 2nd-round pick (#39) in the 2022 draft, and a 2024 3rd-round pick. Dach was also dealt for two draft picks in the 2022 draft, with Chicago sending Dach to Montreal in exchange for picks 13 and 66.
In terms of additions, they did bring in a few players with a history of impact play. Chicago signed forwards Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou, while also adding goaltender Peter Mrazek in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Philipp Kurashev – Max Domi – Patrick Kane
Andreas Athanasiou – Jonathan Toews – Taylor Raddysh
Tyler Johnson – Lukas Reichel- Colin Blackwell
Boris Katchouk – Sam Lafferty – Mackenzie Entwistle
Alex Vlasic – Seth Jones
Jack Johnson – Connor Murphy
Riley Stillman – Caleb Jones
Strengths and Weaknesses
Chicago still carries some great talent on their roster. Patrick Kane is still Patrick Kane, and the younger players are getting their chance to show what they can provide. That in itself can provide a level of entertainment, although the overall product will likely suffer.
Trading arguably your best player and a young, developing talent removes a lot of organizational depth offensively, which could have been the only thing keeping Chicago afloat. Their defense is highly questionable, and the goaltending is likely among the shakiest in the league in terms of track record. They’ll likely be in play for the Connor Bedard sweepstakes, but that looks like it will be the extent of their competitiveness in 2022-23.