The team that has won 3 Stanley Cups in the past 7 years and were predicted by many to win the cup this year, got swept in the first round by the eighth seed, Nashville Predators. Shocking, disappointing, disbelief, these are just a few of the words that can describe the 109-point Blackhawks. General Manager Stan Bowman was “frustrated and angry” by being swept and considered this year a “complete failure.” I think the people of Chicago and the hockey world would have to agree with Stan Bowman. Bowman also said how there will be changes coming to the Chicago Blackhawks.
This summer will definitely be an interesting one. With the expansion draft, and all the trade rumors, the Blackhawks are a team to keep your eye on. The Hawks look like they’ll be going with the 7-3-1 choice for the draft. The 7 being- Kane, Toews, Hossa, Anisimov, Panik, Hartman, and Jurco, the 3 being- Keith, Seabrook, and Hjalmarsson, and the 1 being- Crawford. This makes the most sense but it leaves some guys unprotected.
The Blackhawks who are right there at the salary cap, are in many rumors to making moves to clear up the cap space and even willing to trade one of their core players. One of the rumors is that they have a deal in place with the Las Vegas Golden Knights, to take Defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk, and forward Marcus Kruger. The deal would take $3 million dollars off the cap from Marcus Kruger’s contract but even with that, the Hawks would be very close to the cap.
- Trading Brent Seabrook: Seabrook has been a backbone of the Chicago defense alongside Duncan Keith for many years including all 3 of their Stanley Cup championships. Sadly, his play is slowing down. He hasn’t been as productive as he has been in the past and with a $6.8 million dollar cap hit, the Hawks have been looking to move him. While his contract would be hard to move, they could get a decent return for him and teams would be getting a solid top 4 defensive defenseman that can eat up minutes.
- Trading Niklas Hjalmarsson: This one was very surprising to many people and it would be if it was completed. Hjalmarsson, 30, is one of the top defenseman at blocking shots in the league and holds down the fort of the penalty kill for the Hawks. But he has a $4.1 Million dollar cap hit and with the Hawks looking for anything to clear up cap space, this deal might be happening. Hjalmarsson can bring back more than Seabrook if traded and has even been linked to a deal involving Alex Galchenyuk of the Montreal Canadiens.
- Trading Artemi Panarin: No! Not the Bread Man! Sorry Hawks fans but yes Artemi Panarin is a potential trade piece. Fan favorite and a proven goal-scorer since joining the Hawks, it would be a tough pill to swallow if he was traded. But again the Blackhawks want to clear up cap space and he has a $6 million dollar cap hit. This rumor hasn’t been as big but he is a core player and Bowman has been looking to move one and Panarin would get the Hawks a very very good return.
Along with all of the NHL, keep a close eye on the Chicago Blackhawks because they seem like they will for sure make a splash in the news this offseason.