It has been a disastrous season for the Chicago Blackhawks. Past seasons saw a back-and-forth style of talk about the organization destined to solidify a legacy of the National Hockey League's modern-day dynasty. They continued to hurdle the beating of the league’s salary cap and leap expectations. 2017 has been different. Besides being an election day for the better part of the city of Chicago, it was also the day that one of the cities brightest team's was eliminated from postseason contention with a loss to the Colorado Avalanche. It is an unreal feeling for the organization's fans who have not witnessed this occurrence since 2008.

Joel Quenneville became the head coach the very next season.

What became the difference for the Blackhawks?

This was not just a matter of "what", but "how many." This cannot be an exact number. We can start, though, is this past offseason.

While the Blackhawks won 50 games in the 2016-17 campaign, a first-round exit for the second season in a row was a call to action for the front office.

Trades happened with big names. Signings and player’s personal issues also turned on Chicago.

The Blackhawks found themselves trading solidified players such as Niklas Hjalmarsson, Artemi Panarin, and Marcus Kruger. Signing familiar faces like Patrick Sharp, and losing Marian Hossa to an odd skin issue.

Three major trades took place that offseason.

Hjalmarsson to Arizona, Kruger to Vegas, and the biggest of them all, Panarin to Columbus. These trades automatically weakened them defensively, on the Penalty Kill, and of course scoring.

Hjalmarsson and Panarin were each traded on the same day to the Coyotes and Blue Jackets respectively. Hjalmarsson was one of their more solidified defenseman on that season's roster.

He was a committed shot-blocker, along with Kruger, whether he was playing on the penalty kill or not. Panarin was a part of the highest scoring line the entire league before the breakup due to trade. Quenneville had him on a line with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov. This line was the only thing keeping the Hawks afloat before the move.

Trading Panarin for the return of Brandon Saad was supposed to restore the production of captain Jonathan Toews. Saad's production only amounted to 31 points this season.

Connor Murphy came in the return package for Hjalmarsson. Coming up with the Coyotes, Murphy has not had a chance to even sniff a playoff push. A switch to team Chicago should have been different.

“It sucks, and it’s kind of embarrassing,” Murphy told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Murphy has not been who he was traded for, nor was he expected to be. He sits, right now, at 11 points and a minus 3 for the Blackhawks as the third line of defense.

The last line of defense for a hockey team is their goalie. The Blackhawks revived Anton Forsberg, who’s played in 32 games this season in Corey Crawford’s absence.

Chicago traded fan-favorite and hometown hero Scott Darling to the Hurricanes at the end of last season. It was mostly a move to create cap space, a well-known alternative way of managing for this organization.

With Corey Crawford down and out during the season with his ongoing issue with vertigo, his team was out before they could adjust to his new backup, Forsberg.

Chicago does have hope in the near future.

Chicago's best hopes are their young stars in twenty-year old's Nick Schmaltz and Alex Debrincat. Both have had 20-plus goal seasons for the Blackhawks and have no need to worry about their part in the teams future.

The NHL draft is always an option as well. If a fan decides to see that having the seventh best odds of the first overall pick as a positive or not. It is true either way.

The top prospect thus far in the NHL's upcoming draft is Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. The 17-year-old kid has 20 points in 41 games for Frölunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League.

A glimmer of hope or not, it is something for a team that just missed the playoffs for the first time in a decade.