Scribe identifies 2021 Chicago Blackhawks NHL free agency targets
Each team will seek to make the appropriate additions this offseason. Some will do so in an attempt to overcome the bump in terms of a Stanley Cup fight. Others will do so in an attempt to exit a lottery position. In the case of the Chicago Blackhawks, it’s a bit the latter (they placed 21st in the NHL last season), but also because the team has players who may or may not be back, problems with key injuries of aging leaders. the league and the young pieces that need a little help.
It’s unclear whether the Blackhawks will be active in the free agent market, but if they are, the speculation is that they could choose to be selective. They have bought cheaply in the past and have a number of internal contracts that they want to look at. Fortunately, none of these internal agreements should prevent them from adding if the right adjustments exist.
Phil Thompson of the Chicago Tribune looked at some options, starting with a deal with unrestricted free agent Vinnie Hinostroza. Thompson noted that Hinostroza came by trade for the Florida Panthers, and he has registered four goals and eight assists and a plus-2 (team’s third best) rating in 17 games. He’s hit a $ 1 million cap this season and the Blackhawks would likely be looking to bring him back.
From there, the organization has just under $ 11 million in LTIR pay relief from Brent Seabrook and Andrew Shaw next season. Thompson wonders if the team feels like they’ll have enough money to chase after names like defensemen Dougie Hamilton or Tyson Barrie. Both will receive fairly high salaries on long-term deals after strong 2020-2021 campaigns.
Thompson suggests the Blackhawks would show interest in Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman, but again, he’ll be a costly addition for any team that ends up making a deal with the ultra-popular forward. Thompson then dismissed the Florida Panthers’ optional Alexander Wennberg – he had a cap of $ 2.25 million and is set to get a raise after scoring 17 goals and 12 assists in 56 games.
What if the Blackhawks don’t want to spend a lot of money?
The scribe suggests that GM Stan Bowman may decide not to spend a lot of money and try to find value contracts in a fixed-cap market. If that’s the game plan, Arizona Coyotes winger Michael Bunting could be an attractive option. Bunting has spent most of the past six seasons in the AHL, but joined the Coyotes in March and has 10 goals and three assists in 21 games. Mike Reilly is a smaller defenseman (6-1, 200 pounds), but he helped the Boston Bruins and wore a cap of just $ 1.5 million.
Up front, Tampa Bay Lighting winger Blake Coleman could be a victim of the cap. He has scored 14 goals and had 17 assists in 55 games, but is best known for his prowess as a defensive forward. Finally, the Detroit Red Wings will have to make a decision on Luke Glendening which could be a good year-long hire deal. Thompson writes: “Glendening was an alternate captain and would improve the culture of the locker room.”