They say all good things must come to an end, but in the case of the latest era of the Blackhawks, there was never a good thing to pivot upon, so things have just simply ended. It took a while, but the Chicago Blackhawks have finally arrived at the scorched Earth line-up GM Doogan-Smith mentioned in his introduction press conferce 15 months ago when discussing the new direction of the organization. While the Blackhawks were pretty quiet over the first 25 games of the season, the trade winds picked up around the Windy City which saw them ship out their top forward, top defender and top goalie in the span of four weeks. Below if a min-recap of the moves:

Tage Thompson

Thompson's reaction upon learning he was traded out of Chicago

(Thompson's reaction after hearing he had been traded out of Chicago)

Last year, some teams sniffed around on Thompson offering 2nd round picks for the Arizona born center. GM Doogan-Smith opted to hold onto the late bloomer to see if his breakout season in the NHL was a mirage or the real thing. With Thompson coming out guns blazing for the 2022-2023 and cementing himself in the not-McDavid MVP race at the All-Star break, GM Doogan-Smith decision to hold onto him last season proved to be a wise one, and so opted to sell high as the calendar turned to 2023. 

Thompson didn't fit in the new regimes long term plans as he would be rapidly be approaching 30 by the time the team sniffed any success in EHE. After serious discussions with over half a dozen teams, the Blackhawks made a deal with the Avalanche which saw a trio of 1st-round calibre assets along with a couple of upgraded mid round picks Chicago for Thompson.

To Chicago

  1. Brennan Othmann
  2. Noah Ostlund
  3. 2023 DP - Round 1 (COL) - Top 2 Protected
  4. 2023 DP - Round 2 (CGY)
  5. 2023 DP - Round 3 (BUF) 

To Colorado

  1. Tage Thompson
  2. 2023 DP - Round 4 (LA)
  3. 2024 DP - Round 5 (CHI)

On the deal GM Doogan-Smith said he was happy with the return and it didn't make sense to hang on to Thompson for the sake of hanging onto an elite player. Thompson was the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft and took six years for him to find himself in the best league in the world. With the likes of Othmann, Ostlund and a very good 1st round pick in 2023 draft, the Blackhawks are hoping to hit on one of those assets. Since the trade, the Avalanche have seemingly gone all in for this season and GM Doogan-Smith has begrudginly seen the 2023 Avs 1st slowly rise out of the top 10. When questioned on the Avalanches rapid movement out of the EHE basement, GM Doogan-Smith quipped "Dem the breaks".

Shayne Gostisbehere

Ghost after he found out he was leaving the Windy City

(Gostisbehere's reaction when he heard he was going to Nashville)

A mere five days after shipping out Thompson, the man they call "Ghost" was heading to Smashville. Preds GM Wolf has been checking in on the availability of the undersized puck moving defensman over the past year and a deal came together that the Blackhawks liked enough to pull the trigger.

To Chicago

  1. 2023 DP - Round 2 (NSH)
  2. Sean Monahan

To Nashville

  1. Shayne Gostisbehere

Due to cap constraints in Nashville, Chicago was able to grab Monahan in the deal who will act as Chicago's 2C for the remainder of his contract unless a team comes along that offers a deal the Blackhawks can't refuse.

Darcy Kuemper

Keumper's reaction upon hearing he was traded out of the shithole that is Chicago

(Kuemper's celebration when he heard he was leaving the shithole organization known as the Chicago Blackhawks)

Kuemper has been on the block since the off-season, but GM Doogan-Smith was firm on his price and wasn't going to offload the quality netminder for the sake of moving him out of town. Six weeks earlier, Islanders GM Phillips inquired about the price of Kuemper, but talks had a pin put in them as the cap didn't work and the Islanders had to move some pieces. Over the past week, talks picked up again and a hald-dozen different packages were bandied about before landing on something both GMs were happy with.

To Chicago

  1. Casey DeSmith
  2. Jermaine Loewen
  3. NYI 1st 2024
  4. PIT 3rd 2023

To NY Islanders

  1. Darcy Kuemper
  2. Mikhail Maltsev
  3. CHI 4th 2024
  4. $7 million

On the deal GM Doogan-Smith mentioned that his ultimate goal was to get a 1st in return for Kuemper. There were some strong offers earlier in the season, but offering up a first for some GMs was a price that was too rich. Having Kuemper play as a 1A to Blackwood's 1B for the first half of the season as the Blackhawks finally managed to get that elusive 1st. 

Now that the Blackhawks have traded all their players that are deemed valuable (barring Stastny), the front office look forward to the draft in which the warchest the organization have amassed includes two firsts, five seconds, 3 thirds, two fourths and a fifth this year in a widely regarded deep draft. In 2024, the Blackhawks already have two firsts to their name which should help the organization begin to rise from the ashes in two to three years. With The Hockey News' top 100 prospects listing six Blackhawks prospects, the top prospect Brennan Othmann only sat 31st on the list and the front office hope to add higher quality pieces to their pipeline with their haul of picks this June.

Cole Bates

Haha, got a good chuckle from Tage's reaction. Hawks have a bright future! Nice work

How do the dismantled Blackhawks look now?

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