CHICAGO — When the Chicago Blackhawks take the ice Thursday at Fifth Third Arena to begin training camp, they’ll kick off a new era.
It’s their first camp under fresh leadership in general manager Kyle Davidson and coach Luke Richardson.
“It’s nice to get around and talk to (the players) while they’re doing their medicals and fitness testing, get to know them a little bit, try to get to know some of the faces,” Richardson said Wednesday. “But on the ice is where it’s important and that’s where we’re building the relationships as coaches and players, trying to get that first block in place so we can really start building the team.”
Richardson, who was hired in late June, acknowledged “there will be lots of things I learn along the way and making sure I’m open to learning and having new ideas and growing as a coach.”
The Hawks surely are in for some growing pains.
Gone are core players such as Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach. Fans will get a crash course in Max Domi and Lukas Reichel.
It portends a long road back to respectability — a years-long rebuilding process — and Thursday represents Day 1 of the roster-building moving from concept to reality.
“We’re going to have some good roster battles to track, and having those competitive roster battles is good for the culture of any team,” Davidson said.
Here are three things we learned from Richardson and Davidson on Wednesday.
1. Trade rumors? What trade rumors?