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NHL Draft 2023: Round 1 winners and losers, including the Coyotes

NHL Draft 2023

The NHL Draft 2023 Playoffs were won by the Chicago Blackhawks. There. Done. It doesn’t matter what happens next since the Hawks have acquired a player of a generation in Connor Bedard, who should be able to instantly alter the team’s on-ice mentality and make Chicago once again a contender.

Yes, he is that good, and if the front office can surround him with more aid, we’ll witness something truly exceptional.

The pick still has an awful feeling to it, which is the problem. No other way to put it exists. It’s absurd that this was allowed to happen even though the best player in years is moving to one of hockey’s biggest cities to play for an Original Six team with fans who deserve better times.

Without repeatedly pointing out that the Blackhawks organization organized the worst sexual assault coverup in professional sports history and got away with it while paying a $2 million fine, we cannot merely welcome Bedard moving to Chicago. Because the prior Chicago brain trust determined sexual assault wasn’t worth dealing with if the team was successful, lives are in ruins, families are harmed, and careers are destroyed.

NHL Draft 2023

We must let the excitement surrounding Bedard’s NHL Draft 2023 success blind us to this reality. There are nuances involved here, and weighing them all out is very challenging. Fans of the Blackhawks deserve a great player. Bedard is merited by the city. The fact that Rocky Wirtz was able to keep control of the club, despite his repulsive response to inquiries regarding the sexual assault of Kyle Beach during a town hall meeting in 2022 intended to let people question the top leadership of the organization, makes it all seem pointless. Later, Wirtz expressed regret in a well-worded statement from his PR team, but the harm had already been done.

The persons who were directly involved in the cover-up were no longer there, but the man in charge showed no remorse for what happened. The fact that Chicago won the first pick in the lottery when they ought to have faced the harshest penalties possible for allowing a player in their system to be repeatedly abused by a previous coach made it feel abhorrent. It’s just incredibly awful, sad, and furious that the Blackhawks should be starting a new era of success with a famous player, but instead, the same owner is being punished for the NHL’s careless handling of Kyle Beach’s abuse.

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Amelia Jhon

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