Well, there you have it. The 2017-18 Chicago Blackhawks finished the season on Saturday like they did 49 other times this season, with a loss.
As a fan, you shouldn't be happy with a 33-39-10 record because you know the players all the way up to Rocky Wirtz aren't.
What you should be happy about is the 424 regular season wins, 76 playoffs wins and, of course, 3 Stanley Cups during their incredible run (since 2008-09). Do you know how many teams, players, and fans are dripping with jealousy STILL over this team? Sure, with this jealousy will come a lot of satisfaction that the Hawks missed the playoffs this year.
I sit here this morning extremely grateful that I've been able to watch a complete transformation from the dark ages in the 90's and 2000's. I have witnessed an amazing core group of players that have remained here through the years (Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook, Hossa, Crawford), great players that have moved on (Hammer, Big Buff, Havlat and now Sharp), vital role players (Bolland, Shaw, Bickell, Ladd, Versteeg, Brad Richards, Handzus) and, who can forget the message board punching bags that have kept it fun over the years (Rusty Olesz, David Rundblad, Stalberg).
Yes, it was a rough year, but if you follow sports at all (specifically hockey), you know that the success of this organization in the salary cap era is rare and a period that hockey fans, not just Blackhawks enthusiasts will talk about for years.
We will have a lot of time to go in depth and analyze what the Hawks should do in the off-season, where they are going and why they are deciding to keep the Stan/Q combo around, but right now, I just want to take a couple days for reflection.
Hockey is a huge part of my life but at the end of the day, it's a sport and a privilege to be able to play at any level.
You all know by now the extreme tragedy that struck the Humboldt Broncos. Another reason for reflection as my heart goes out to the families and all of those involved. The hockey community is a close group all over the world and it's been amazing to see the enormous support all over the world. Here is a link if you are interested in contributing: https://www.gofundme.com/funds-for-humboldt-broncos.
It just put everything into perspective when such sadness like this takes place. So next time someone makes you "upset" on the message boards here or you disagree vehemently with someone and it makes you want to rage out... just remember it's just a sport and life is so much more important.
Finally, I just wanted to say thank you to YOU. Thanks to all of those who read, shared, liked and commented since I took over in October. Even though it was a rough season, it was a lot of fun and I look forward to some great banter through the playoffs and during the summer!
See ya out there!