Kyle Davidson issues surprise statement on the team's rebuild

May 13, 2024  (12:55)

GM KD Addressing the media
Photo credit: The Hockey News

GM Kyle Davidson was interviewed by Mully & Haugh recently and they brought up the rebuild.

Of course, they had questions about Kyle Davidson's plans for the 2024 NHL Entry Draft.

Given it is a defense-heavy draft, Davidson was asked about what the Blackhawks' plans were in Las Vegas when the time to make a pick arrives.
Davidson, surprisingly felt confident about the Blackhawks' current form and feels they're good enough in their rebuild capacity now, where they feel they don't need to target one spot alone, to keep the rebuilding moving.
He explained to Mully & Haugh that he felt excited about the upcoming future and felt they can choose the best player in the draft and go from there.
Not to mention he has explicitly stated the rebuild has entered a new phase:
«We want to take the next step here and progress,» Davidson said. «We don't want to finish where we finished this year moving forward. That's not what we're looking to do anymore. It's something we're going to be conscious of moving forward. Hopefully we can see a little more success and some positive steps in the standings and on the ice here moving forward.»
Davidson was very careful in what he said Saturday. For one, he's not promising a Stanley Cup contender next season. He just promised better.

«I don't know how many points or standing slots that is, but we can't finish second-last in the league,» Davidson said. «I think the standard has to be raised. The expectation has to be raised. Through that, accountability will be raised. That's the nature of the path we're on. Eventually, we have to start making positive steps. And I think we've reached that point.

«I'm not saying that we're going to be competing for playoffs or Stanley Cups or anything next year. I don't know how realistic that is. It's the best league in the world, best players and best teams in the world. To say we're just going to improve a whole great deal in the standings is difficult. But we need to be better. And it's time to take a step forward. Previous to this year, we finished third-last. This year, we finished second last. That can happen again. We need to start moving up and onward. That's the exciting part of the process. It may not be a huge leap, but there has to be some positive momentum to be carried forward starting next year.»<.q>

Not to mention his philosophy remains steadfast:

«We want to create battles,» Davidson said. «We want training camp competition for spots. And that comes with a little bit of addition and honesty with the players, both veteran and young, that you're all fighting for the same spot. Your experience level, your age, where you're at in your career, whether you're new here or not, that's not going to play a role into if you're on the team come day one. You're going to determine if you're on the team based on your play in camp. Part of that is players we bring in.»

The shift of the Blackhawks into competitors looks as if it will be on the horizon soon, and with nine first-round picks, the Blackhawks can load up on quality talent and build around Connor Bedard.