Saturday, April 20, 2024

Despite Recent Extensions, Blackhawks Likely To Add Assets At Next Week’s Trade Deadline

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Blackhawks players and media members who were in the locker room at this time last season have commented over and over again that it was one of the worst times to be there. With nearly every player walking on eggshells, no one knew whether he would be the next to get a tap on the shoulder telling him he’d been shipped off. Players like Patrick Kane, Max Domi, and Jake McCabe headlined a large group that left to make way for the next generation of Blackhawks.

This season, that’s far from the case. The Blackhawks locked up veteran leaders Petr Mrazek, Nick Foligno, and Jason Dickinson on two-year deals, and GM Kyle Davidson has said that fans shouldn’t be expecting too many moves at the deadline.

Still, that doesn’t mean Chicago isn’t in a great position to make waves next week. When Davidson and his staff are dealing, they’ll likely try to accomplish one of two goals.

Make Use of Cap Space

If there’s one thing the Blackhawks lead the NHL in, besides losses, it’s their amount of available cap space. Chicago currently has over $34 million in room under the cap. Even if that number is a bit misleading due to the amount of high-dollar players on injured reserve, the Blackhawks will still have more than $20 million to work with when most of those players get healthy.

With a nearly unlimited amount of cap space, there’s no reason the Blackhawks shouldn’t at least act as a cap facilitator for two teams working toward a deal. They could absorb 25% of a player’s cap hit, getting draft picks in return at practically no cost. Chicago could also take on a high-dollar, bad contract in order to get extra draft picks. Ideally, that contract ends at the end of the season and not years down the road, but that opportunity could still be tempting for a team contending for a championship.

Trade Veterans for Young Talent

While the Blackhawks extended three of their top potential trade chips, the team still has 16 contracts possibly coming off the books at the end of the year. Most of those players aren’t likely to be traded since they aren’t NHL-caliber players on any other team, but a few notable names at the top of the list could be of note to other teams.

Tyler Johnson & Co.

Of all 23 players on Chicago’s active roster, Johnson is perhaps the most likely to be traded. His 33-year-old veteran status is an issue for a Blackhawks team trying to build a roster from the ground up, but not for a contender, especially since he hits unrestricted free agency this summer. If the Blackhawks retain a large portion of his $5 million salary, they should be able to fetch a lofty price for the two-time Stanley Cup champion.

Other players like Colin Blackwell, Anthony Beauvillier, and Taylor Raddysh have been valuable for the Blackhawks all season and may offer some of that value to a competitor, although it’s unclear what Chicago thinks it can get in return for them. Still, one thing is clear. While the Blackhawks may not be as active this year at the trade deadline, they’ll still be looking to add assets by any means possible.

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Jammer8925
Feb 28, 2024 2:49 pm

Raddysh, Beauvillier, and T.Johnson should all be moved. Blackwell should not…

binyowe
binyowe
Feb 27, 2024 4:46 pm

As a many assets as you can. Johnson is no use for this team and they can get a prospect and a 2nd or 3rd rd draft pick. I hope they will start signing some big time free agents and try to start winning next year.

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