Thursday, July 4, 2024

Three Extensions Blackhawks Should Sign While In The Spending Mood

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On Friday morning, the Blackhawks and veteran forward Nick Foligno agreed on a two-year, $4.5 million AAV extension. The shrewd move allowed Chicago to keep Foligno’s on-ice talent and locker-room leadership around as they attempt to usher in a new era. The cost may be a bit steep, but the Blackhawks will have plenty of room under the cap this summer anyway.

The Blackhawks couldn’t sign Foligno until after the calendar flipped to 2024, so it’s clear GM Kyle Davidson and his staff are more than ready to spend some of the team’s abundant cap space. With the Blackhawks obviously in the spending mood, which players should be extended next? With a whopping 20 players facing free agency at the end of this season, three in particular need to be extended as soon as possible.

Jason Dickinson

The most obvious answer based on this year’s performance is veteran forward Jason Dickinson. After being dumped on the Blackhawks in 2022 in a move that also sent a second-round pick to Chicago, Dickinson has been the best player not named Connor Bedard on the team this season. He’s logged 21 points in 42 games this year and offers Chicago a well-rounded game as well as veteran leadership. If the 28-year-old can be brought back on a team-friendly deal, there’s no reason he can’t offer the Blackhawks great value as a middle-line center, providing the team with much-needed depth down the middle.

Alex Vlasic

After being drafted as a second-rounder in 2019 by the Blackhawks, Vlasic spent small stints in the NHL in each of the past two seasons before transitioning into a full-time role this year. He’s been excellent in his 36 games this season, usually lining up on the top defensive pairing. His large frame and defensive wherewithal make him a suffocating force on the defensive end and he’s effectively limiting his mistakes despite his lack of experience. With his entry-level contract expiring at the end of this season, Vlasic should be extended now, no questions asked.

Petr Mrazek

The Blackhawks’ plan was never to have Mrazek stick around between the pipes beyond this season, but the first 42 games of the year have made it painfully clear that Arvid Soderblom isn’t ready to take the reins of the starting job just yet. Though the Blackhawks’ goaltending pipeline shows plenty of promise, including second-round pick Drew Commesso, those netminders aren’t quite ready to make the transition to the NHL. Couple that awkward timeline with the fact that Mrazek has been nothing short of tremendous this year (.903 save percentage despite an inexperienced defensive unit), and he could be in line for an extension while the Blackhawks are in the spending mood, even if only for one more year.

The Blackhawks will have a completely different roster by this time next year, but at least a few players should be extended while the front office is in the spending mood. Foligno’s extension was a great start, but with so many players potentially headed toward free agency, there’s much more work to be done.

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DanielleKaitlynn
DanielleKaitlynn
Jan 12, 2024 2:21 pm

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Last edited 5 months ago by DanielleKaitlynn
DanielleKaitlynn
DanielleKaitlynn
Jan 12, 2024 2:20 pm

The Blackhawks will have a completely different roster by this time next year, but at least a few players should be extended while the front office is in the spending mood. Foligno’s extension was a great start, but with so many players potentially headed toward free agency, there’s much more work to be done.

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