Jerome Kaino, despite being out for the rest of the season injured and facing up to a disappointing first year as Blues captain, remains positive about the franchise's future.
A large part of that optimism is due to the quick rise of loose forward Akira Ioane and wing Melani Nanai, with the former in particular looking a special talent.
Blake Gibson, an Auckland loose forward who starred for the New Zealand under-20s yesterday, is another with a big future.
"The loose forwards were a big concern for us with Luke Braid and Brendon O'Connor leaving," Kaino said of the Blues pair who will move overseas after this season. "We were hoping we could unearth a lot of talent within our region and Blake has stood up, and Akira as well, which is positive for us, so the future is looking quite bright in that area."
In truth, the pack has been the Blues' strength this year and, although the futures of front rowers Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock are uncertain, with both likely to quit after the World Cup, there remains a lot of talent in the form of Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Steven Luatua and Kaino, who has committed to the Blues for another three years.
And while his team have been dogged by tactical naivity and poor decision making at critical times, there hasn't been a hint of rebellion despite a woeful win-loss ratio.
The young players such as recent standouts Nanai and Ioane haven't lost heart, despite the grind of near constant defeat. Instead, they have thrived in an environment in which they are free to express themselves.
"I don't think these young guys will ever experience a season as bad as this one," Kaino said. "They can take a lot of experience from this year into next year."
Recruitment will be key because the Blues are losing quality outside backs in Frank Halai and Charles Piutau, although the former has struggled for form. Piutau has signed with Ulster and hoped to get another season in with the Blues next year but that appears unlikely.
Tevita Li and Lolagi Visinia have pace but next year's head coach - probably John Kirwan - will need reinforcements there, traditionally positions of strength for the Blues.
One area in which they are gaining a big talent is the midfield, where the returning Rene Ranger will likely slot in at centre next to the improving George Moala.
Ranger, who underwent surgery on a hernia last week, will add an element of the unexpected to a Blues backline which has underperformed this season. Ranger was a sensation for the Blues, and to a lesser extent the All Blacks, before his departure to Montpellier in 2013 and his elusiveness next to Moala's power could combine for an effective combination.
First-five Dan Bowden is likely to be better for his game time following his return to New Zealand. Bowden had a difficult start - his injured foot meant he missed several games and he would have felt under-done once he took back the No 10 jersey from Ihaia West.