With the Western Conference now officially clinched by the Nashville Predators, we have a few days to look ahead once again to the summer in Chicago.
Since being bounced from the playoffs by Nashville, the Hawks have made a few moves to keep some players in Chicago (in theory) while also giving Vegas options in the upcoming expansion draft. Stan Bowman has given new deals to three forwards and one defenseman, and traded away his backup goaltender.
Richard Panik – 2 years, $5.6M
Tanner Kero – 2 years, $1.5M
Jordin Tootoo – 1 year, $700k
Michal Rozsival – 1 year, $650k
Scott Darling – to Carolina
Chicago has more work to do, however, and plenty more contracts to consider in the medium term. And, according to CapFriendly, a Blackhawks roster of 13 forward, 6 defensemen and 2 goaltenders (plus $3,558M in overages from the 2016-17 season) has Chicago at approximately $76.6M – well over the projected cap.
Most of us assume that unrestricted free agents Brian Campbell, Johnny Oduya and Andrew Desjardins won’t be back. But Chicago already needs to begin planning for the next two summers.
The following Blackhawks organization players will be restricted free agents this summer:
Chicago also retains the rights to one remaining college senior, Boston College’s Chris Calnan.
In 2018, the Blackhawks will face restricted free agency with John Hayden, Ryan Hartman, Vinnie Hinostroza and Trevor van Riemsdyk.
In 2019 Chicago could have Panik, Artemi Panarin, Marcus Kruger and Niklas Hjalmarsson among the group of free agents-to-be (though we believe at least one of those four players will be gone this summer).
That’s a potentially expensive group of players, some of whom are already considered part of the existing core and others who need to become a more important piece of the team.
With Chicago hosting the 2017 NHL Draft in a few weeks, and the coming expansion draft, the Hawks could be one of the more intriguing and active teams in late June. As a reminder, the Blackhawks own these ten picks in the 2017 NHL Draft:
Round One – Chicago
Round Two – Chicago
Round Three – Ottawa (via Carolina for Darling)
Round Four – Chicago
Round Five – Chicago, Carolina (from Versteeg trade), St. Louis (from 2016 draft trade)
Round Six – Chicago, NY Islanders (from 2016 draft trade)
Round Seven – Anaheim (from Tim Jackman trade – 2016)
The following players have a contracts in place for the coming season (with previous league and ’17-18 cap hit):
John Hayden – NHL – $925,000
Tyler Motte – AHL – $925,000
Vinnie Hinostroza – AHL – $717,500
Alex DeBrincat – Jr – $809,167
Alexandre Fortin – Jr – $685,000
Matthew Highmore – Jr – $775,833
David Kampf – Czech – $925,000
Nathan Noel – Jr – $775,833
Kyle Baun – AHL – $625,000
Luke Johnson – AHL – $717,500
Graham Knott – Jr – $717,500
Anthony Louis – NCAA – $775,000
Matheson Iacopelli – NCAA – $742,500
Gustav Forsling – AHL – $872,500
Carl Dahlstrom – AHL – $750,833
Viktor Svedberg – AHL – $750,000
Robin Norell – AHL – $717,500
Luc Snuggerud – NCAA – $767,500
Jeff Glass – AHL – $612,500