NHL Draft 2023: Winners and losers from Round 1, including Coyotes’ inexplicable picks

The Chicago Blackhawks won the NHL Draft. There. Done. It doesn’t matter what happens from here, because the Hawks got a generational talent in Connor Bedard who should be able to change their on-ice culture quickly and turn Chicago back into a winning team on his own.

Yes, he’s that damn good — and if the front office can put more help around him we’ll see something very special.

The issue is that the pick still feels so … icky. There’s no better way to say it. We have a scenario here the best player in years is headed to one of hockey’s largest markets, to play for an Original Six team, with a fanbase that deserves a change in fortune — and yet, it’s still ridiculous this was allowed to happen.

We cannot just celebrate Bedard heading to Chicago without continuing to mention, over, and over again, that the Blackhawks organization orchestrated the largest sexual abuse coverup in professional sports history and walked away with a $2 million fine. We cannot allow the hype of Bedard lighting it up in the NHL distract us from the fact that lives are in tatters, families damaged, and careers ruined because the former Chicago brain trust decided sexual assault wasn’t worth dealing with if the team was winning. READ MORE

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