It is the final day of one of the most ridiculous years anyone has lived through. Whether it’s being a professional athlete, a sports fan, a student, a professional, a parent or just a human, it’s been a long, hard year.
The good news is tomorrow the calendar reads 2021. This calendar year can be put in the books and we can walk into a hopeful new year filled with the promise of a fresh beginning.
As many tend to do, New Year’s resolutions are intended to be a To Do list for the new calendar year.
Here are a few New Year’s resolutions for the Blackhawks, the organization and the fans.
Jonathan Toews – get yourself back to where you need to be in life. Then, if possible, get back on the ice leading the Hawks.
Kirby Dach – get healthy.
Patrick Kane & Duncan Keith – stay healthy and lead the young team through what is shaping up to be a tough 2021 season.
Brent Seabrook & Andrew Shaw – stay healthy and get back to being an important part of the team.
Dominik Kubalik – build on what you did at the end of last season.
Ian Mitchell & Adam Boqvist – get used to being a key part of the Blackhawks’ blue line. Learn as much as you can from Duncan Keith.
Calvin de Haan & Connor Murphy – explore real estate opportunities in Seattle.
Rocky Wirtz – continue evaluating everything. If people aren’t doing their jobs well, continue making changes. And, please, pay your marketing department well in the coming year(s) because selling the on-ice product isn’t going to be easy for a while.
Stan Bowman – hire a general manager to run the rebuild. Take the organizational decisions off your personal plate and let a new voice in the room take the franchise into the next generation.
Jaime Faulkner – try to avoid comparing the next couple seasons to the past decade; very few NHL franchises have enjoyed the levels of success the Chicago Blackhawks have in the last ten years, but the future isn’t the past. Make hard decisions and stay the course.
Get used to losing – 2021 isn’t going to be an easy or fun calendar year. With the players already missing from the lineup to start the coming season, things are not looking like a championship is coming soon. Embrace the legacies of the stars we can still cheer for and look to the future.
Have patience – there are reinforcements coming. The future is coming and we’ll start to see some of the young players in the next generation this season. But don’t lose your minds over single performances or stretches of play. Remember that Keith, Seabrook, Kane and Toews all had to learn how ot be superstars. Try to give the kids the chance to develop.
Continue supporting the team – what makes Chicago fans special is, through bad and good times, the fans are there. That hasn’t always been the case for the Blackhawks; many of us remember a nearly empty United Center. While ticket prices might not make attending games a reality for many, watching on television and wearing the hats, shirts and jerseys is still a way fans can keep the team part of the heartbeat of the city. Don’t walk away when the times get tough.