TEMPE, Ariz. – While so many people saw it coming for a long time, the moment that happened just after 7 p.m. central time on Tuesday was quite a shock to many in Chicago.

That’s when the Blackhawks made their trade of Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers official.

“It doesn’t seem real right now that we traded Patrick Kane,” said general manager Kyle Davidson when speaking to reporters after the deal was done.

But indeed it was, and the Blackhawks had a game to play.

Around an hour after the deal, Luke Richardson had to put his team on the ice to face the Coyotes at Mullett Arena on the campus of Arizona State University. Naturally, this made concentrating on the game a little difficult, and it certainly showed over the course of 60 minutes in a 4-1 loss to Arizona.

Perhaps it wore on the team to lose the nine-time All-Star along with the recent trades of defenseman Jake McCabe (Maple Leafs), Jack Johnson (Avalanche), and forward Sam Lafferty.

“It’s just been hard, we won’t lie about that it affecting a little bit emotionally and psychological a little bit for these guys this time of year is tough,” said defenseman Connor Murphy. “Seeing core guys that have been so big for the organization, like Kaner, and yesterday for Lafferty and McCabe and JJ before that.

“They were just such great guys and they all had great seasons with us and were such impactful people for our room and for the organization that we’ll miss them and we’ll try to regroup here with a new group of guys we have.”

Richardson wouldn’t rule out the effect on players, saying it’s one of the difficult things about life in the NHL, especially when the trade deadline is near.

“It’s professionalism. When they get in the game, they’re not really thinking about it. I think it’s in-between the games, reading the papers and watching the news. They’re close friends,” said Richardson. “That’s professional sports life. I think when they get into the game, they’re revved up and they battled pretty hard, so I don’t think that comes into effect

“But when you are physically tired, mentally it can be a little bit of a distraction.”

That could certainly be the case for a Blackhawks team that has now lost three-straight games after capturing four-straight contests. With a roster that has a number of new players, it’s up to Richardson to galvanize the group ahead of the final 22 games of their season.

“You know what, we’re moving forward, I’m not sure we’re done yet. Tonight I just said to the guys after the game that new guys are coming in, it’s a good time on the road to get together after the game,” said Richardson. “In the NHL, there’s no place for losing, but we are in a position right now where we have a lot of new players, so we need to almost, not start over, but create some new bonds here and relationships and some chemistry that we can move forward with.”

Doing so could be as difficult as it was on a historic and somewhat shocking Tuesday night in Tempe.