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Lazerus: Blackhawks fans, it could be worse — it could be Nashville

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Chicago – anytime Patrick KaneHis career ends, you’re more likely to find him in the school’s meet-and-greet class than in NHL reception desk. At least for a while.

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“Maybe there’s a bit of a front office thing to do when it’s said and done, but it’s going to be fun to focus on being a dad,” Kane said. “If my kid is doing something, if he’s playing something, if we have another kid, it would be nice to go wherever they go, enjoy time with them a bit. Give (partner) Amanda a little break. She’s been like a single mom here over the past two years.”

It sure feels great. But it’s hard to imagine Ken staying away forever. Ken has “future GM” written all over it. His seemingly boundless knowledge of the league, his knack for spotting other players, his understanding of the kind of players that separate good teams from the great ones, and his near-uncanny retention of every game in every game make him a natural in a league where he’s familiar. For former players to become future GMs.

So he definitely has to see that, despite the half as many wins Nashville and being 14 points further from the match picture than the Predators after handing over Chicago Losing their eighth straight Wednesday night, 4-2, the Blackhawks are in a much better position than the team that beat them. Neither team is anywhere near being a contender, or even a playoff-caliber team. But Chicago manager Kyle Davidson managed to completely erase the record. Nashville GM David Boyle has years of mediocrity by locking him in at a mediocre heart.

Philip Forsberg It is signed until 2030. Roman Josey It is signed until 2028. Matt DucheneAnd the Matthias Ekholm And the Ryan McDonagh through 2026. Ryan Johansen And the Michael Granlund Until 2025. All at great prices too. For years, predators will be exactly the same as they really were years ago — well, sort of. competitive. Fine. Too good for a top pick, not good enough to accomplish anything other than the occasional first-turn exit (achieved largely on the strength of Juuse Saros’s brilliance at the net). Everything the Blackhawks have been the last of a handful of disappointing seasons. All they are trying to avoid.


Juuse Saros. (Jimmy Sabao/USA Today)

Davidson Blackhawks only Seth Jones And the Connor Murphy Signed long-term, she has four first-round picks in the next two drafts — with as many as three more picks likely to come at the trade deadline. In addition to four selections from the second round and four selections from the third round. And a real shot on Conor Bedard or Adam Fantelli next summer. And all the cover area of ​​the world.

From a team building standpoint, it is indisputable that the Blackhawks are better equipped to compete in the future than the Predators.

right?

“Yeah, I really don’t know,” Ken said. “You can think of the game the way you think, but I feel like it always pays to put your best team on the ice and try to win, right? We’ve obviously traded away or not signed some pieces that might have helped us this year. And that’s the way it is, that’s it. It is, and so we are in the situation we are in.”

Obviously not GM yet. As a player, the loss is miserable and unbearable. Davidson trades away Alex DeBrinkatAnd the Brandon Hagel And the Kirby roofand allow Dylan Strom And the Dominic Cuban The walk is almost unforgivable to the player. But as this apocalyptic stretch of the season continues, Davidson’s plan seems more and more sound, even if it’s an idea Tanks is still as cynical and hated as ever.

Because honestly, would you really rather be a fan of Predators right now? Doomed to the fringes of the picture separator for years to come?

Ken said with a shrug. “But a lot has to go right, you know? You’ve got to have good base players and guys and you’ve got to have prospects coming in, and you’ve got to be pressing those draft picks as well. We were in good shape that day, as this team had A lot of chops with (Brent) Seabrook and (Duncan) Keith and (Patrick) Sharpe. You round up some guys at the top of the draft and then you find some free agents and you’re there. But it doesn’t happen overnight.”

Ken is not finished.

“And you have to hit some of those later picks, too, right?” He completed. “Even Tampa, they’ve got a lot of players who weren’t high picks, right? (Nikita) Kucherov was a second-rounder, and (Bryden) Point was a third-rounder.”

He is right, of course. He almost always is when it comes to these things. Black Hawks, like Lightning After them, I caught, well, lightning in a bottle. Keith was a minor player, as were Dave Boland, Corey Crawford, and W.C Brandon Saad. Niklas Hjalmarsson was fourth. Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger were in the fifth round. without those long shots, Jonathan Toews and Kane aren’t nearly enough to make the Blackhawks real competitors, or perhaps even to attract top freelancers like Brian Campbell and Marian Hossa. The amount of skill – and luck – it takes to build a team like this is almost unfathomable. And it seems almost unrepeatable.

However, the Blackhawks at least have that chance. The possibility exists. For Nashville? She really doesn’t. Predators aren’t one player away from greatness. Free agency wouldn’t get them there, and they wouldn’t have the capital project to speed up the process much either.

Yes, Nashville is much better than it is in Chicago right now. It’s not even close. So it’s understandable as a player why Ken likes to see where franchises trade. But when he’s in that GM’s trunk someday in the distant future (and here’s a bet on that), he’ll see the whole picture. The truth is, as awful as things are in Chicago right now, the Blackhawks are in an even more enviable position. In this case, the unknown is more attractive than the known.

Thoughts quick

• Kane may not like the Blackhawks situation, but the team’s prospects see a great opportunity to rebuild. If this were a Stanley Cup contender, Isaac Phillips It likely won’t be the first appearance of the season on Wednesday night.

“If they’re a top-place team,” he said, “no matter how well you play in the minors, sometimes there’s no place.” “They’ve announced that they’re in a rebuilding phase, and they’re projecting like three, four, five years. For a defenseman like me, I’m happy with that. I think they’ll give the young guys, and I’ve got one now. Hopefully I can get the most out of it,” he said.

• Phillips has focused on the IceHogs’ successful season so far, but he’s always had an eye on what the Blackhawks do. Almost all IceHogs do.

“We definitely watch the games,” he said. “We’re obviously watching closely. Seeing their tendencies and things like that. If we’re hanging out and having dinner, or having dinner, we’ll go over to somebody’s house and watch the game and talk about it. It’s not always in your mind, but it’s in the back of your mind.”

Watching the Blackhawks allowed Phillips to monitor the team’s defenses. So he was ready to step in as Murphy’s partner on Wednesday night Jared Tenordy Outside with a facial fracture. And when Jake McCabe He took a high stick in the first period and left the game, and Phillips was able to adjust to the spin change.

• Only seven guards in the league have a higher save percentage than the Predator’s backup Kevin Lankinen925. The former Blackhawks goaltender is stuck behind one of the best players in the league in Saros, but he’s making the most of his opportunities.

“He gets along really well with (Saros),” said Predators coach John Haynes. “What I admire most is his attitude, the way he operates between matches (when) he’s not starting. He prepares himself so when he comes on, he’s ready to play well.”

• Tenordi is out indefinitely after taking a slap in the face, shortly after needing 75 stitches after taking a skateboarding boot. Given the speed of the game and the ease with which players raise their puck with combination sticks, full face shields might seem like the way to go. It’s a “personal choice,” Luke Richardson said, at least for now.

Richardson once broke his jaw and wired it shut a few days before Christmas in a shot similar to the one Tenordi took. Later in the year, while on defense, he ran the puck up with his stick and caught it in the face again.

“I haven’t fully recovered, neurologically,” he said. “I was still sedated, so the pain wasn’t as bad as the first time.”

Hockey, man.

(Blackhawks’ MacKenzie Entwistle, Predators’ Colton Sissons and Dante Fabbro, top photo: Jamie Sabau / USA Today)

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