Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said he gave team leaders Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews a heads-up about some “really tough decisions,” though he didn’t give them advance notice of the details of the move. the moves I was planning.
“It wasn’t specific about ‘We’re going to do this,’ it was more general that there are probably going to be some really tough decisions that have to be made,” Davidson told reporters Thursday at Fifth Third Arena. “You don’t know what you’re actually going to do, so you can’t necessarily say we’re going to telegraph it, because who knows if something comes to fruition.
“But we knew they were going to make some tough decisions this summer, and we definitely put them on their court. So, it’s something that they knew could happen, but not from a specific point of view.”
Davidson traded leading scorer Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach on draft dayand refused to re-sign Dylan Strome, Kane and DeBrincat’s linemate, as well as Dominik Kubalík, who often skated with Toews last season.
Toews, in particular, hasn’t gotten good trades in the past, like when Davidson traded Brandon Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lightning before this year’s trade deadline, and both he and Kane insisted the team could expedite his trade. yes a lot. of the list remained intact.
Davidson said he spoke with Kane and Toews this week about personnel decisions.
“I thought it was healthy, open communication, open dialogue like it has been in the past. It was necessary,” she said. “It is never easy to lose great players and great friends outside the team. So, it was important that we sit down.”
Kane and Toews’ agent, Pat Brisson, told TSN’s Pierre LeBrun that his clients “don’t necessarily agree with the direction the team is going,” according to LeBrun’s tweet at the opening of the free-agent signing period on Wednesday.
But “they will let the dust settle first and then patiently make the best decisions for each player as it relates to their respective careers,” LeBrun tweeted.
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Davidson was asked if he felt Kane and Toews still believed in the rebuilding plan.
Said Davidson: “I think it’s probably more of a question for them, but I felt like the meeting went well and (was) an open two-way dialogue. It was a healthy process, so they’re both here and having conversations with each other and keeping that communication open.”
While there has been speculation that parting ways would benefit both parties, Davidson reiterated his stance that he wants the three-time Stanley Cup winners to stay.
“From our perspective, they offer a lot of value to be here,” Davidson said. “Not only are they great on the ice, but all the experience and all the professionalism and what they know and what they know about the NHL and the lifestyle is something that is invaluable in bringing younger players into the organization.”
Davidson lamented his lack of a pipeline when he inherited the job, but it brought an infusion of prospects in no time: including 11 draft picks.
However, he said, “You can’t just have an entire ‘kids’ NHL team. That wouldn’t be fair to the young players coming in, so you need great veterans. That is something you need in the room and to help them in their development.”
Those “great veterans,” Davidson said, include Kane and Toews.