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Can The Blackhawks Save Chicago Sports?

Blackhawks dropped the puck for their 2023 season Tuesday, October 10 as they and Connor Bedard look to turn this team around and give Chicago sports fans something to cheer about.
Connor Bedard celebrates with teammates Nick Foligno, Tyler Johnson, and Taylor Raddysh (left to right) after scoring his first career NHL goal in Boston on Oct 11, 2023 (Chicago Tribune / Charles Krupa)

What you want to hear

Where else is there to start than Connor Bedard? This kid is going to be nothing short of a stud. Easily the biggest prospect to enter the league since Connor McDavid, expectations are high for the 18 year old, and odds are he won’t let us down. 

Bedard hasn’t taken long to make an impact on this young Blackhawks squad as through five games he already has two goals and two assists, sitting him at just under a point per game. What’s more impressive though, is his presence on the ice. Even when he’s not scoring you can tell when this kid is out there.

“I think that Bedard will be great this year but even better next year because he still has a lot to learn since he’s with the big dogs now,” said Marist hockey player Max Sombong.

There is a lot more on this team to be excited about than just Bedard though.

An overlooked part of this team is the other rookies and young players. The Hawks are the 8th youngest team in hockey with an average age of 27.3 and with rookies like former 17th overall pick Lukas Reichel, 7th pick Kevin Korchinski, and promising young talent in net Arvid Söderblom, the future of Chicago is undoubtedly in good hands.

That of course is still not mentioning the exciting veteran talent that looks to be performing at a high level so far on this team. Corey Perry, Nick Foligno, and Taylor Hall, all former all-stars brought in this off season, as well as returning players like Seth Jones and Connor Murphy, add a needed spark of experience to this squad and should hopefully guide all the youngsters in the right direction.

What you don’t want to hear

Unfortunately for all those expecting the Hawks to “save Chicago sports” this year, it likely won’t be the case. At the end of the day the Blackhawks are a young gritty team that has the capabilities to pull out some upsets, but not nearly to the extent of which would get them in the playoffs.

Last season the Hawks were 29th out of 32 teams with a record of 28-42-12 (wins-losses-overtime/shootout losses) and the odds of them improving beyond a handful of games are slim. In fact, with the loss of Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews there is a real possibility that they even regress this season.

“I think the team this year is not going to be really good or really bad because the Blackhawks are still rebuilding their team after losing some of their best players,” said Sombong.

In light of their relatively hot start it’s difficult to predict them being too bad this year however I still struggle to see them breaking 40 wins and expect them to be somewhere in the mid 30s. All things considered, my official record prediction for the Hawks is 36-37-9, sitting just under .500 missing the playoffs and finishing 6th in the Central division.

Despite the Hawks likely not being that great it should still be an exciting season as we get to watch young talent grow, and hopefully go on to carry the future of the Hawks.

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About the Contributor
Hayden Krupa, Editor in Chief/Journalism 2 Writer
I am Hayden Krupa, Senior at Marist. This is my 2nd year as a writer and 1st as an editor for MHS Media. I plan to major in sports journalism and I dream to one day cover Chicago sports for a living. I also want to play college hockey. I am a student ambassador for Marist, member of NHS, 2 sport Varsity athlete in hockey and lacrosse, and the commentator for Sandburg hockey.
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