The Chicago Blackhawks have taken a page from the New York Rangers, issuing a letter to fans explaining their recent moves and their commitment to a rebuild. The letter reads:
We recently said goodbye to a pair of popular, two-time champions and acquired some new players via trade and free agency. We understand it was tough to see those respected veterans go and realize you may have some questions about our direction. We’d like to adress that direction and share why we’re hopeful for the future of Blackhawks hockey.
We’re committed to developing young players and rebuilding our roster. We want more than another window to win; we want to reach the summit again, and stay there–an effort that will require a stockpile of emerging talent to complement our top players. The influx of youth and their progression will provide roster flexibility and depth throughout our lineup.
We were already the youngest team in the 2020 playoffs and several Blackhawks experienced that intensity for the first time; this will help to further establish a culture that embraces the grind of improvement driven by competitors who are relentless, engaged and motivated by a team-first mentality to win.
As our young players develop and learn how to win consistently, they’ll make some mistakes. Inevitably, we’ll miss the mark sometimes, too, but we’ll communicate openly with you on this journey together. We know that what comes next must be more than just words, and that inspires us.
Chicago recently allowed Corey Crawford to leave in free agency and traded Brandon Saad to the Colorado Avalanche. The team is moving forward with an extremely inexperienced tandem in goal and a forward group highlighted by young players like Kirby Dach.
In 2018, the Rangers issued a similar letter to their fans after moving on from core players like Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello. Two and a half years later and the Rangers now have two top picks in the system and a large number of young, talented players ready to take them to the next level.
The Blackhawks obviously are hoping for a similar short turnaround, though there is lots of work to be done in order to get their organization back to contending for the Stanley Cup every year.