Official: Blackhawks Sign Mitchell, Suter and Kalynuk

Rumors became a reality on Thursday for three prospects. The Blackhawks formally announced contracts with defensemen Ian Mitchell and Wyatt Kalynuk and forward Pius Suter.

Mitchell received a three-year contract that runs through the 2022-23 season with a $925,000 salary cap hit.

Suter signed a one-year contract that runs through the 2020-21 season with $925,000 salary cap hit.

Kalynuk received a two-year deal that runs through the 2021-22 season with a $925,000 salary cap hit.

99 thoughts on “Official: Blackhawks Sign Mitchell, Suter and Kalynuk

  1. Old news Tab, try to keep up … just kidding :=)

    Yes, very exciting news – especially the signing of Suter who could have chosen another team. I read somewhere that he may end up being somewhere between Kahun and Kubalik at the NHL level, which would be fine considering he was a “free” pickup.

  2. Guys(and girls), who do we think is being bought out this off season and who do we think is being resigned? I think Zack Smith and Maatta are bought out for sure as the hawks try to sign Kubalik and Strome..I’m also fully aware that I’ll be the only one here dying on the ”resign Strome” hill but 23 year old centers w upside are still valuable imo..especially if Strome takes under $4 per..anyhoo, interested to hear what others think..here’s what I think next year’s lineup could look like..
    Saad-Taser-Kubalik
    Nylander-Strome-Kane
    Suter-Dach-Cat(switch Cat and Nylander if you like)
    Shaw-Kampf-Carpenter

    I have to admit, if a couple of forwards(Nylander and Suter) overperform, I’m digging those four lines..sprinkle in a Holloway or Lundell at the draft and this team is getting closer to respectable..

  3. @slayerforever I like those lines, but I’m not too sure we will be seeing shaw back at all. I think he is all but done. Also if he cannot be ltir’ed maybe a buyout for him as well, like many hawks he was paid for past performance (yes I know he got his contract in Montreal but we traded for him)

  4. I forgot to mention I am stoked for these 3 signings!! Some great news. Now let’s get 50 in between the pipes and make a little noise in the playoffs

  5. Slayer my thoughts to start next year are the Nylander, Strome, Kane line after putting up good numbers before the stoppage will likely see alot of ice time together against Oilers. They stay together if they keep showing well and resigning Strome a given. If Cat stays with Toews and Saad, i could see Dach working well with Kubalik and Peters, plus helps Peters get comfortable playing with Kubalik as well as good scoring balance, both played in Swiss league. Colliton seems to like 3 lines getting lots of 5on 5 minutes and 4th line taking load of Toews against opposing teams top center.

    Could one of Kampf or Carpenter be moved at draft to a team cap strapped, who need somebody for a low caphit, who is good pk guy, decent at fos and need somebody out there for their defense to compliment offensive lines. If Kampf does as good a job on negating Mcdavid in playoffs as he did this season when matched against him, no doubt have callers for him. Cagguila or Shaw if he does play fill the 4th line out the gate. Likely see lots of Hagel, Kurashev, Entwistle, maybe Chalupa and Barrett as year goes on. If Lafreniere happens that changes everything of course, as he will play on one of those top 3 lines. If not don’t see whoever else they pick playing next season

    Don’t know if you’ll 2 buyouts, i would say Maatta for sure if they can’t move him, fkat cap may dictate that. If they really are as high on goalies behind Crawford having big developmental potential as they make it look, then letting him sign elsewhere if he still wants to play may be the way it plays out. Smith will go at some point but the way this cap situation plays out he may, if healthy be moveabke as cheap insurance at tdl on an expiring contract.

    If he wants a contract next summer, Nylander needs to find his spot where is going to fit. Playing with Kane and Strome give the opportunity, now we’ll see how bad he wants it.

  6. Ian, you wrote Peters but I think you meant Pius Suter.

    I’m on the re-sign Strome team too. I place Kubalik as the top priority followed closely by Strome – course it all depends on whether or not their salary expectations fit into the salary cap constraints.

    It’s been a while since I reviewed the buyout numbers on the more likely buyout candidates but I hope Stan reclaims some cap space using that option, else there may need to be a veteran traded – who I don’t know.

  7. hawks sign three guys who are young, healthy, likely to improve, not injury prone, with solid pedigrees, and on the cheap. as i have said before, i am not versed in evaluating individual players as ian and many others on this site. i comment in terms of the organization planning well for the future and managing the salary cap properly.

    last year around this time the hawks traded assets for three guys who had reached their potential, were slow or injury prone or facing the downside of their careers going forward or some combination of those variables, and all were expensive and on three year contracts. two d-men and one forward acquired last year and now the same this year.

    last year the hawks traded assets to obtain those players and they were desperation moves to try to sneak into the playoffs last year, neglect planning for the future, and shitting all over the salary cap space they had available for the first time in years. this year the hawks focused directly on the future, gave up no assets, and barely scratched the surface of the salary cap going forward.

    all three of these moves ultimately might not work out. that risk is always involved with every signing, trade, or contract extension. but signing kids with their potential makes perfect sense in terms of what is best for the hawks to do going forward.

    the buck always stops at the top and as much as i still want bowman to be shown the door……kudos to him. if i blame him for the travesty of last off season i have to give him credit for these signings. absolutely brilliant in theory for what is best for this team going forward. if even one of these guys becomes a fine player that will be great. but if none pan out the moves were still on an operational and planning basis very solid. i am thrilled with these moves.

  8. Hawks29 with a fair and balanced post … there’s hope for humanity after all (just kidding). Credit for and against, as warranted, is the way to go. Nice post.

  9. Forget every players buyout numbers 6 is a good buyout numbers wise not sure about the others. Unless we need it even with the virus salary cap for 3 yrs we should let caphits go on there own. Any of the young players are ready yea do it to make room.

  10. Maatta’s buyout is $680,000 for 4 years, save 3.4m first 2 years, vounts against cap last 2. Smith 1.08m for 2 years, saves 2.15m the 1st year, counts against cap the 2nd. The only 2 favourable buyouts, the rest have minimal cap adavantage at best.

    Fair post Hawks29, certainly those cap hits make the squeeze because of covid tighter but hopefully turn out to be not much more than a minor inconvenience to the future and a bad decision for the past.

  11. If both were bought out, 5.5m in savings this year, next year would be 2.3m, basically just cover a mimum salary replacements maybe if lucky have half a million to the good. So really maybe Maatta only worthwhile looking at buyout.

  12. I respect and try to see the views of all of the posters here.I just do not see what many of our regulars see in Dylan Strome.They were ecstatic in Arizona to have him traded.He is a very poor and slow skater.His defensive zone coverage is terrible and he is very soft on the puck.He is not a 2nd or 3rd line center.I will keep watching him to search for a tangible positive.

  13. Tim, I disagree with your assessment of Strome. Is he a good skater? No. Is he a very poor skater? No. Is he a slow skater? No, his skating speed is fine – it’s his stop-to-start quickness that’s slow. Here’s the thing I hang my hat on regarding keeping Strome – he is a very good offensive player who can make plays at top speed which isn’t something to dismiss. Is that enough to compensate for his shortcomings in other areas? My answer is a qualified ‘yes’, with the qualification being that he doesn’t price himself off the Hawks.

    Admittedly I defer more to offense than defense, but if it came down to keeping Saad versus Strome from a cap perspective, I keep Strome because his offensive upside is already better than Saad and will potentially improve versus Saad is a very good 200 foot player but his offense tops out in the 45-50 point range.

  14. ER,
    Interesting question relative one another, which to keep, Saad or Strome? I like Saad better, but I don’t think the Hawks can win big or go deep with Saad; whereas, Strome is a quality C, we’re seemingly always needing more, and players around him (D’Cat notably) play better with him on the ice. I’d keep Strome provided he doesn’t price himself out, but I’d move-on for both for cap reasons, no problem.

    Just a feeling and opinion.

  15. I would have to believe that this as the plan allalong getting the ‘temp’ ufas regurdless of threre caphits which we ahd to use anyways and the idea was to see what happens with 6 actual NHL Defensemen and at least one NHL goalie which we didnt have for a bit there. Then the whole time was to look/prepare for the young wave and when they were prob ready which is about after those comtracts were done anyways.

    No making excuse but when you take a few steps back and then look you see it was sort of genius to do it that way. Why because it landed us some top 5 skill draft players which we wouldnt have any let alone two and counting for the young wave. The high end elite players are difference makers and can be the difference in winning.

    Looking pretty smart right now overall when looking at big picture.

    I ll take BoZ Dach another-top 5 skill draft player and maybe another after that for a few off yrs to set ourselves up for moar glory days with 19 88.

    Yeah Babaaaay!

  16. Hearing buy out a lot. It is a good tool to use but how about trying different levels of trade. Best level would be trade for assets. Using Maatta and Smith, some one might need a veteran and would give up a 5th rounder or worse as a straight up trade. Clears up all of their cap space. Next level same trade but retain a portion. Try to retain less that half but at worst case you have half the cap space for the same term instead of an extended period of time. In Matta’s case next year trade for an expiring contract.

  17. Young players like Strome and Nylander are going to have to show they can be part of the future. Strome as i believe Craig mentioned a bit ago gets the chance against Oilers to make his case for next contract. He struggled this season, injuries played a part, playing center in Collitons system. Then he got a look on wing which was unsuccessful. Then just before shutdown he was put on a line with Kane and Nylander, who had an up and down year as well and they started clicking. Now they have a big time opportunity to help their position on a line with Kane, with a flat cap through next couple of years, the windows to for younger stars to prove their spot will become smaller when new contracts involved.

    Before putting Saad on trading block, lets remember limiting opposing teams scoring chances is an achilles heel of this group and Saad is one the best on team in that regard. Also Saad has a history of producing offense at playoff time and sparking the team when needed. Gotta see what the others do with Kane against Oilers before making that decision on who stays. Often regular season production can disappear come playoff time.

  18. Just noticed details of Suters contract released, it contains an european clause, which should mean his Swiss club who he is under contract to until 2023 would have first dibs if doesn’t stick on Nhl roster for certain number of games. Be same as Forsling’s was a few years ago.

  19. TIM & ER

    the goal of course is to win the cup and i believe strome’s shortcomings as a defender and at the dot preclude him being from being able to favorably compete as a second line center against teams that are viable cup contenders. as such, i am fine with him as a third line center between wings who are two way players if his compensation is commensurate with a third line player. if his demands are too high it is prudent to let him go and move on.

    the hawks recent cup winning teams had four lines who were hard to play against and i believe that was as significant as many other characteristics of those teams. you give that characteristic up with strome and hope to get back what you give up and more with his offense. i think that strategy plays well on the third line.

    i could be wrong, but i feel bowman would reverse that trade in a second and be thrilled with toews, schmaltz, and dach down the middle. i hope bowman does not compound the error that was that trade by overpaying strome in terms of dollars and years on the contract. i would feel a lot better about bowman as an executive if he shows the willingness to cut bait on a mistake rather than exacerbating that mistake with a poor contract extension.

  20. My priority list to re-sign:
    1. Kubalik – even though he probably won’t have a shooting percentage of almost 20% again, he is a pure sniper who plays well enough all over the ice to be my top priority.

    2. Strome – love his top-end offensive ability with the hope he can continue to improve his quickness and agility.

    3. Saad – love the guy but he is what he is offensively which tops out at 50 points.

    4. Cagguila – hustles all the time but has injury concerns and his style of play is conducive to injury. Replaced more easily than the other 3.

  21. Hawks29, I’m pretty sure Schmaltz plays wing for Arizona, as he should because he’s really not an NHL caliber center, which the Hawks realized too.

  22. I am good with Strome for now as he can get better. Once he wants 6m just like Schmaltz no hes they are not the players 20 and 12 are. Now 12 need to score 30-40 goals every yr and get better at Defense as these guys need to get better at certain things. So for now whats the problem with him here. He gets better or stays the same then make the move.

    Are we getting a big return now compared to a yr/two yr from now. We deserve to see how much better he can get. Or until we have better down the middle.

    Were looking at 19 77 and top 5 skill draft player this draft and maybe next and is Kurachev a center. If were loaded at center in a yr and a half then yea trade for winger.

  23. Often regular season production can disappear come playoff time.

    Think if Stalberg and Bicks and Saad and Shaw. Night and day between 80 games play and playoff style play.

    Hawks29, yea I look at 19 77 as 1st and 2nd line centers for yrs to come so Strome doesnt have to be 2nd line center. Not sure otherwise.

    Thing is would anyone be ok with Schmaltz at 6m? I am ok with 77 and this top 5 skill draft player at 6m because they are elite players. I want 17 and 8 to be elite players but i am not sure on that.

  24. ER, I want to see a line of Kubalik Kurachev and a player like Teuvo. Your talking about some serious shit right there. Fast and skilled and sniping.

  25. Mo that’s Nylanders spot is to become a Teuvo type of player, don’t know if gets there but that’s what they hope for.

    EB Schmaltz was played center on 2nd and 3rd lines, mostly 2nd with Kessel, so if he isn’t complaining Schmaltz must doing alright. Agree though wouldn’t want Schmaltz’s caphit right now, but have thought that he his speed and 2way commitment is more in line with Colliton’s kind of center.

  26. That being said Kane had alot of success with Anisimov as his center and wasn’t exactly the fastest guy on the ice.

  27. I stand corrected on Schmaltz playing center for Arizona. I didn’t see the Yotes play more than a few times and I thought I remember him on the wing.

    Kane can pretty much play with anyone – the question always is can they play at a high enough level to play with him. Kane doesn’t need a fast center because he is so good at pulling up and finding a trailing player – like Anisimov or Strome or a d-man. Strome has the ability to make plays at high speed which is the best situation for being Kane’s linemate.

  28. The Kalynuk signing is an absolute steal. He has top pairing potential. Great get !
    The Pius Suter signing is found money. The Hawks were not sure he would choose them. He will step right in and play in 2020-21.
    Ian Mitchell =stud potential.

    A great week for the Hawks future.

  29. Just one more quick comment since it seems there are a lot of opinions (justifiably so) regarding Strome and whether he should have a place on the hawks moving forward..obviously I think so, but assuming that the Hawks land at the 9th or 10th pick in the draft this year, I certainly wouldn’t be mad at the front office if they drafted a ”NHL” ready center like Lundell..he may not ever score 55-65 points, but he looks to have a lot of the ”Danault” like qualities that the Hawks have been missing since Bowman traded him..and then, depending on the type of lines you’re looking to put together, in three years you could conceivably have down the middle- Toews at 34 years old, Dach at 22 years old, Strome at 26 years old, and Lundell at 22 years old..all of a sudden, Strome on the 3rd line looks pretty good to me since he won’t be taking any d zone draws but you still have the opportunity to have him create offensively on the 3rd line..anyhoo, my only point is that no matter how you formulate your team, options down the middle on every line never ”hurt” your hockey team..especially if you’re so strong down the middle you can have a second line center on the fourth line..to me, that would be awesome..

  30. Saad or Strome?

    One guy is in his late 20’s, big and strong, goes to the net, and has gone deep in the playoffs 3 times with 2 Cups under his belt.

    The other guy is Dylan Strome.

    Not rocket surgery in deciding who to keep if you have to make a choice.

  31. RUTHERFORD

    if it comes to pass about saad or strome i am with you. not likely strome will be as effective in stanley cup play. worse offensively and even worse defensively. especially in rounds three and four when the ice gets very small, the whistles don’t toot very often, mistakes are magnified, and there are no bum teams left to abuse.

  32. If Saad is so good defensively why has his name never been mentioned as being a finalist for the Selke trophy?

    If Saad is so good why was John Tortorella benching him when he played for Columbus?

    It shouldn’t be rocket science to understand that after next year Saad will become unrestricted and can leave Chicago if he chooses.

    If the Hawks can sign Strome to a reasonable contact why would they trade a 23 year old with upside potential?

  33. Stape, rightly or wrongly, the Selke isn’t won by wingers – it should be redefined as the best defensive center who also scores a lot instead of the best defensive forward. Marion Hossa never won the Selke and he was a better defensive winger than Saad and also scored a lot more.

    It’s similar to the Norris which usually goes to the highest scoring d-man whether or not he’s great on defense. Oh well – it’s the way it is.

  34. Is it clear to say that ” Unfit to play” does mean shows symptoms or have covid in the NHL language? Think this way they are in the bubble healthy first. Some how show positive. Then test negative two days in a row. Now fit to play.

  35. The choice to keep Saad may be determined more by if part of his caphit can be able to be used to resign Dach and Boqvist or even if Nylander has a good a big year and needs earns a bigger contract. The way players are bailing in Columbus when they become free agents, don’t think Saad is only one who can’t get along with Torts. Funny when a player leaves Blackhawks and has success, it was Q or Bownans fault, but when the other way around it’s the players fault not other teams coach and gm

    It seem likely if linemates going forward for Kane are found not named Dach or Toews, likely they end together on a top 6 line. That would lessen the need for Saad in that role and the stress his caphit for next few seasons, be the way i could see it going anyways.

  36. Unfit to play is a mandated by new cba response for any injury/ illness that a player is not able to play. Not feeling well or taking the safe route if showing possible symptoms and staying away from team and getting a few days of negative tests, does not mean somebody has or had covid.

  37. Unfit the code word for virus.

    Slayer, we always had 4 good centers and others who could play center on those yrs. We added Madden Hands Richy Vermette which made us so deep in 13 and 15 we had Bolly and Shawzer on 4th wing. So were adding a good center at some point just like those centers and will be very deep at center when the time is right.

    Craig, some times there is buzz with your posts. Thinking of how good these players can be and really that it adds to the group of young wavers is what I like the most because that means quality deep/HHNL quality deep.

  38. I personally do not see Saad as being a really good defensive player….period.

    As for offence Saad has hands of stone and only diehard Hawks fan think that Saad is good offensively. If a player finishes outside of the top 200 scorers it should tell you something.

    The biggest issue with Saad is do you really think that it is a good idea to pay a third line player 6 million dollars a your?….I don’t.

    As for Tortorella if you look at personal that he is coaching I don’t really see how anyone could complain about the coaching job he has done….In fact he should be considered for coach of the year.

    The only way coaches can hold players accountable if they are not performing is by taking away ice time or healthy scratching the player. In Columbus they will bench a top player and that will show the rest of the players on the team that they are holding everyone accountable….”Everyone”
    This is why Columbus is one of the hardest working teams in the NHL.

    How many games this season did Hawks players not play well and still were rewarded with lots of ice time incuding power play or penalty kill time?
    All players should be held accountable for poor play.
    How many times did Keith…Kane…Towes get their ice time cut back?
    While defence wins Stanley cups…So does hard work!

    Please don’t tell me…”well Seabrook got scratched”
    Seabrook is no longer a top 4 NHL defenceman.

    Take everything that I have said with a grain of salt…Its only my opinion. ?

  39. Nice to read many good posts. I agree with Slayer that we may have a good opportunity to further solidify the center position with our first round pick. With all the talk about Strome it reminds me of just how good I now feel about the Dach pick. I seem to recall that most folks (including myself) were pulling for a different pick. I am now of the opinion he is going to be a beast and possibly make the Rangers or Devils regret their selection. I am really looking forward to watching him against the Oilers.

  40. Yea Tarts messed up Saader not he other way around. He wasnt the same when he came back. Why? Whatever happened he got messed up there and it took a yr or so to get back to the zipcode of where he was. Can Saader get back to where he was/or can any player in the league do that without 19 & 81.

  41. I wasnt sure at first but when I saw the look on that spoiled pretty boys face when we didnt pick him/Byram it made sence to me. We wanted a beast and a player who earns it not expecting to be given it like him.

    So like your saying NJ RAG poss regret not taking Dach same for Byram. He was always the 2nd choice.

    Kind of like Tazer in the 2006 draft those two passed and made a big mistake.

  42. Be good with Lundell player it would be like getting that center that people wanted/thought we would get that LA got.

    Dach and Lundell is nice.

  43. Choosing Strome over Saad is equivalent to choosing Connor Murphy over Hjarms.

    One guy had been there, done that, got the T shirt, and blocked more shots than all of us combined.

    The other is Connor Murphy.

    Who would you rather have in a tough series with, as one poster noted above, limited whistles?

    A proven warrior (Saad/Hjarms) or a wannabe (Strome/Murphy)?

    Funny…Am watching 2013 Finals vs Boston on NHL Network now.

    No way Murphy or Strome do anything against that Boston team.

  44. The thing with 17 that people donot like is hes not good at Defense like Hands Richy Vermette. So whether 2nd or 3rd line that hurts his value. Hes is good at OFF and has those skills some here are saying and with upside. So for now we can keep both. When picking between a 6m Saad and a 5/6m Strome thats tuff. Picking between a 6m Saad and a fair 2/3m bridge Strome yea.

    The problem with Schmaltz Strome other is they are not 6m players/not yet. Saader was and maybe still is.

    Good thing we have lots of young wavers coming that will make the decisions for us and then when its time to add ufas/trade get another Saad type player if we donot still have. For Strome why not stay for now at fair caphit and see where he goes. That should tell what we need to do.

    Guys like Kurachev Lundell other are going to force the issue into a good problem.

  45. Interesting note on Suter, during 2015-16 season in Switzerland, Blackhawks assistant Marc Crawford was his head coach and his linemates were Austin Matthews and Pierre Engvall of the Leafs, quite likely other team involved in trying to sign him.

  46. @jim r..keep in mind that Strome vs Saad isn’t a decision made in a vacuum..in the 2013 finals, Saad was making $900,000..hell yes I’d keep Saad over Strome is Saad was still making his entry level salary..but Saad will be looking for $7 million or so on his next deal..maybe slightly higher..with a flat cap in place, that’s probably too much to pay for a 53 point player no matter how enticing the intangibles..cheaper contracts for young players with upside is really the only way for the Hawks to build a contender at this point ..as an example, let’s say Strome takes 4 per year and Kubalik does the same(it’s probably wishful thinking in regards to Kubalik but this is just illustrative)..for 8 mil per year you have 2/3 of a legit scoring line..or, in other words, for 775,000 more than you’ll be paying Saad by himself for his non prime years..the Hawks won all three cups when Toews and Kane were on their entry level deals and their bridge deals..the Hawks need more of that(hopefully Dach, Boqvist , Mitchell, Kubalik, Strome and Debrincat are the first steps)..

  47. If the Hawks were to move on from Saad they would need to have a similar type player (ie. power forward) to take his place because he fills that role quite nicely IMO

    He is good defensively and he is a good PKer – he’s not an offensive machine granted and is a little (but not hugely) overpaid so the decision to keep him or not is going to depend a lot on contract demands especially considering the flat era that’s now upon us – if he’s affordable (say $4.5 to 5 million on a 4 ish year deal) I think you keep him – if he wants a raise I think he’s likely gone

    Strome should be sign-able on a relatively low cost 2 year ish bridge deal
    These playoffs will be very telling for Strome IMO – he has the potential if he ups his intensity (that includes his battling for 50/50 pucks and his D play)

    I like him when he has the puck it’s getting the puck that is his shortcoming – it’s an improveable area – a short bridge deal would give the Hawks time to see if he does improve in this area and it’s a lucky break in a way for the Hawks that the cap will be flat because Strome will likely be forced by circumstance to take less (both in $ and term) than he would have pre-Covid

  48. good points @wraparound..working hard for 50/50 pucks has a lot more to do with desire and dedication than god given skill..it’s an area Strome needs to improve upon for sure and yes, I think a 2-3 year bridge at an affordable price would be the best for him and the Hawks as I’m sure they want to continue to evaluate him as well..and you’re right about the flat cap..Strome and likely others at some point will be forced to ask for a bit less and it’s the best thing that could ever happen to Hawks fans because now Bowman can’t overpay even if he wants to..he’ll be forced to actually give out reasonable contracts lol…

  49. re: the discussion about who the Hawks should keep/move on from…

    Trading Saad is going to be difficult becuase almost every team is going to have cap headaches for the next 2 years. And the Blackhawks do NOT need to be bringing back bad deals/older players. If they were to move on from Saad, they would a) need an affordable replacement, and b) need to find a trade partner who can take on his entire $6M hit.

    Re-signing Strome works only if he’s willing to be a 3C and they believe he can be a 40-50 pt player w/out DeBrincat on his line. He isn’t a very good skater and doesn’t win enough faceoffs for a long term commitment. Dach is your long term 2C eventually into 1C and should be skating with the Hawks best scoring wingers, which means one of Kane/DeBrincat on his wing. If Strome is willing to take a very modest 2 year bridge deal, cool. If not… adios.

    Re-signing Kubalik should be a priority. The Blackhawks offense moving forward is going to be built around Kane, DeBrincat, Kubalik and (hopefully) some additions in the likes of Suter and kids they draft/develop. But if Kubalik wants $5M+ on this contract, it might be time to leverage him as a trade asset.

    The Blackhawks simply don’t have enough trade pieces to make a substantial move and don’t have the cap space to do anything significant outside the organization… in fact, it’s going to be tough to retain all of their young pieces as it is.

  50. Morrison, Hawk 29, Aurora. I appreciate the kind words. I try to post what I know as opposed to what I think.

    On that note, when I asked about Shalunov a few weeks ago, I got a lukewarm reaction and was told they were not in any rush to sign him. Powers then reported he’s going to play in Russia again this year. Meh. No biggie.

    On the draft : If the Hawks draft 10th overall, I expect them to take Askarov. They think he has too much talent to pass up. They also really like Jake Sanderson and Jack Quinn. That is what I know.

    If they pick 10th, I do Not expect them to pick Lundell or Holloway.

  51. Stape, we do need that kind of workmanship/mentality with the young core and the other players need to ‘play’ as well.

    Wrap, thats what I mean by the virus salary cap is a blessing for us. It also makes us do what is better for the longterm.

  52. Only way not keeping Saader is if he wants 6/7 or more and too many yrs. Or we can add a very good young player in a trade from a top 10 team that wont be able to keep everyone because of having too many good players and virus cap. I like the idea of adding a very good young player like that and would trade for it.

    Then thats where we do buyout/if not trade stright up and make it happen. Then go get another two way player like Saader from ufas/trade in a couple yrs.

    Lets get both and take advantage of this virus cap and the top 10 teams getting screwed.

  53. Strome they can let go.
    Soft hands – yes.
    Speed – no
    Defense – no
    Toughness around enemy net – no.
    Strength and size – no.
    Playmaking ability – yes.

    Saad at 7 million? No.
    Saad at 5.5 million? maybe.

  54. Not that I thought Shalunov was going to be really good/and he could be its that its totally fine that hes not coming because of how many and how often we get good players from euro fro free.

    I do like the idea a top notch goalie stud especially since were adding these good FW and Defensemen like we just did for free.

    It does make sense for our position were in.

  55. Any thought on Saader doing a 2 or 3 yrs contract then go for higher caphit after virus cap is over in a few yrs.

    Anyways starting to get stoaked and looking ahead down the road a couple yrs for how good were going to be again.

    Keep loading young wave like this.

  56. Some guys get overpaid, some guys are a deal. Very few guys are paid exactly what they are worth. In terms of managing contracts, it’s far more important to limit the duration than the salary amount. It’s the guys who are signed for way too long that are the problem.

    As Wrap noted, if we move Saad who is the replacement? By my count we have exactly zero good prospects at power forward. So what if there is a risk he gets paid a little too much for a couple of years. Keeper.

  57. With Dach growing into no.1 center role, by reports from camp he has bulked up, making quite an impression now. I’d like to see Toews on wing where gets a little more room to work, plus mentor Dach and take load off Toews to allow him continue to be top line player for a few more years as power forward role. Gives Dach time to become better on fos with no pressure, plus free up Saad caphit. If Strome’s chemistry with Kane is real great, if not Kurashev, Barrett, Suter and if not in 1st round, there will still be potential 2nd and 3rd line centers available when next 3 picks between 55th and 80th happen, just might take part or all of year longer to develop. Strome likely realizes as rfa with no arbitration rights taking a liveable 2 year deal and bet on himself is in his best interests. Can happen little by little over the course of next couple of seasons.

    Kubalik resigned i hope it happens but if ask is unreasobable then as Tab and Mo mentioned move him and use his money to land a good young forward from a team that has to do a cap dump. If good core is continued to be built and when winning becomes a real possibility there will good chance guys kike Dach, Boqvist, Mitchell will be aware their 3rd contracts will be their money deals not the 2nd ones in 2 or 3 years and want to stay. One thing this Organization has going for it through this, is if players do right by them, they will get rewarded fot it

  58. Askarov is dropping in some mock drafts so I double checked tonight(seeing that no games have been played since rankings have changed).
    I was told not to believe any of the recent negativity about him, Hawks still think he is top 10 talent.

  59. This is where I am buyout 6 other before not keeping Kubalik Saad other. If not for a trade instead of buyout. Numbers be right sure.

    Not trading 8 20 to keep 6 others.

    Trade if caphits are crazy and we can steal a very good player for young core from top 10 teams that are going to get screwed by virus cap.

  60. Jim Rutherford,I agree with you 100%on your Strome and Saad comments and evaluation.I hope he proves us wrong but I just don’t see his upside.

  61. Craug good stuff, any talk on they might consider with next 3 picks. Couple i like are the possibilty of Jean Luc Foudy being still there. A swing for the fences type pick that Blackhawks like, a speedy winger described as fastest guy in the draft, with untapped potential. Also Dylan Petersen a big 2way 6’3″ center from USdp who is good skater and shows good faceoff ability. Committed to Ncaa but played minor hockey in Ottawa area, who now have his Chl rights, so may change his mind.

    Wonder how the playoffs and how draft plays out changes the take on our look at next couple of years.

  62. It can be hard to follow what the masses want at times. Many complained about having too many bottom-6 F or bottom-2 D and how we need quality over quantity. Then I see trading some higher talent players and replacing them with lower versions because they are cheaper. Are we not speaking in circles?

    So we all want high-end players on cheap contracts – we aren’t going to get them through UFA or trades. The key is hitting on the first 2 rounds in the draft and filling the pipeline. There’s no magic solution overnight.

    We should be blessed to have a situation where Saad is a 3rd liner, similar to Sharp back in the day. Says more about your top-6 than you realize.

  63. Gringo, you make a good point. However, we are, after all, ‘fans’, which is short for fanatical which is defined as “Possessed with or motivated by excessive, irrational zeal.” – emphasis on the word irrational. So, there’s that. :=)

  64. Gringo agree the effect of a flat cap for a few years and maneuvering through it is going cause tough, questionable and unpopular decisions to happen quite likely.

  65. Just watched the scrimmage today. There were two 15-minute periods. The black team win the first period 3-1 with Carpenter, Nylander and Boqvist scoring for black and Kubalik scoring for red. They shuffled players around for the second period which ended up 2-2 so they played a 5-on-5 OT where black won 3-2, Dylan Sikura scored all 3 goals for black and Carpenter and Seabrook scored for red.

    Toews didn’t play so Sikura played center between DCat and Saad and looked very good. Maybe my Sikura dream is still alive. :=)

  66. Ebony, how’d the defense look and what can you say more about the young guys?

    Thank you.

  67. Hi Aurora. Most have the young guys have had a moment or two but none of the guys who haven’t yet played an NHL game has stolen the spotlight from the guys from the young guys already playing in the NHL – like Dach and Boqvist who have looked very good. The Nylander-Strome-Kane line has been dynamite with Nylander playing at a high confidence level and Strome skating better and getting himself into position to make nice plays to his line mates if not taking the shot himself which he’s done very well.

    Beaudin looked solid making plays on offense and defense but nothing that wow’d me. Likewise Carlsson. Hagel looks pretty quick and Kurashev controls the puck on his stick very well but so far haven’t shown much in terms of production on the scoreboard. Entwhistle had some nice play on Sunday but didn’t notice him today (maybe he didn’t play?).

    And then there’s my boy Dylan Sikura. He stepped up big time with a lot of nice plays today including a hat trick today with the 3rd goal winning it in OT for the black team. Maybe there’s still hope he can find a spot on the Hawks.

  68. EB reading sone of the reporters comments and saying pretty similar to you, offense looks impressive, defense not so impressive. Usually takes defense a little longer to get up to game speed and Murphy, Dehaan not being part of scrimmages, plus Seabrook coming off long layoff, that’s to be expected. Bowman saying Crawford could return for Oilers series possibly.

  69. Oh oh … yesterday when asked about Toews leaving practice early, Colliton said something to the effect he was just getting a time to recharge. Well, apparently someone had a chat with Colliton so when he was asked today the reason for Toews not taking part in the practice/scrimmage – he answered they have been asked to use the term ‘unfit to participate’. Hmm … that should get conspiracy theorists’ juices going … maybe Toews is in on the “lose for Lafreniere” strategy. Just kidding.

  70. Hopefully Toews is just what Q called a maintenance day and not allowed to say that. Also a chance to get Kurashev and Sikura some ice time with regulars.

  71. GRINGOINTORONTO. Your post is very accurate, building through the draft and building a pipeline. Bowmans need to stop trading draft picks and quit bringing back former Hawks that used to be good.

    Funny how there has been nothing but crickets from Hawks fans with regard to Artemi Panaran being a finalist for the Hart trophy…..going to go down as one of Bowmans biggest trade blunders.

  72. Stape, glad you brought up Panarin. I don’t think you will find any true Blackhawk fan defending or liking that trade. The only people that do, do it in terms of the salary cap required to pay him. However, people forgot for the last two seasons they made the SAME SALARY. This past season Panarin made more. So we get the ‘bonus’ of having Saad this past season and next season in exchange for giving up a guy who is a top ten scorer every year and maybe MVP this season. It’s crazy.

    By that rationale, the Oilers should be trading McDavid about now because their is no way they will be able to resign him in ten years when his contract expires. Or Draisaitl. Only in Chicago do we get sold logic like that and actually buy it.

  73. More Bowman bashing. Always a good time, especially the old junk at the restart of a fresh post-season during unprecedented times.

    I’m glad everyone knew Panarin was going to become a top-10 scorer and Hart finalist 3-4 years ago. Maybe, the trade was Q’s requirement, our venerable old curmudgeon. I don’t recall. Regardless, I wish you would have been so convicted in your feelings that you predicted and documented it, Hart Trophy finalist in 2020. Or, better yet, finally gotten that job in Hockey Personnel. Since none of those things happened, it’s pretty easy to predict yesterday’s news with today’s newspaper.

  74. For the record, I hated the Panarin trade and still do. All GMs make poor decisions and that one, in my opinion, is one of the worst decisions Stan has made as GM.

    However, EDM with McDavid/Draisitl isn’t a fair comparison because EDM didn’t already have 2 max contracts like the Hawks did/do. Panarin would have been the 3rd max contract and it’s difficult enough to ice a competitive team when >25% of the salary cap is used for <10% of the roster – it would be near impossible if 40% of the salary cap is used for just 3 players. So I get that it would have ultimately come down to being able to keep only two of Toews, Kane and Panarin – my problem with the trade is that the Hawks would have had a couple more years of Panarin before having to cross that bridge – the trade was unnecessarily premature.

  75. Oh, and regarding the MVP – I love Panarin and think it would be great if he won, but I think MacKinnon should win.

  76. Aurora Hawk when a young player finishes in the top 10 in scoring in his first year you could assume he will only get better offensively.
    It should have been rather obvious to anyone who knows anything about hockey that Panarin was going to be an elite scorer in the nhl.

    Bowman was the GM not Q

  77. The justification at the time was Panarin didn’t lift us to wins in the first round over St Louis or Nashville. Well how does our playoff record look since he left? How does his look?

    I and many many fans were outraged at the Panarin trade as he was already an elite talent, and secondly, for the scarce return we received. Saad had spent a good amount of time late in the season on the 4th line as Torts didn’t care for the effort / results he got from him very often.

    The concept of the trade was to make us tougher in the playoffs. To that end it was an embarrasing, utter failure. I think most of us would rather have had even two more years of Panarin than Saad the last three years and next year.

    Plus, keep him for another year, maybe trade him in the off season, or and the trade deadline the following year. Could have got a MINT for the guy! Terrible asset mismanagement.

    And I’m not a Bowman basher. I think he is a mix……does great with his European signings and better than average in the draft, very poor pro scouting and trades, and pretty bad at signing guys to contracts.

  78. EB those 2 more years would have meant no Dach, Boqvist or high pick this year or chance at Lefreniere not likely.

    I questioned when Panarin signed his 2 year 6m/ year extension why they djdn’t try to work out something longer, which was an unpopular position at the time, the posts should be still there. Then in summer when trade happened i saw why that didn’t happen. Agree or disagree it’s done, over and a few key future pieces to the rebuild arrived because of him being moved. Keeping them is what matters now.

  79. Should we have gotten more for Panarin? – absolutely. Would we be a cup contender if we somehow signed him to a $10m+ long term contract? My answer is a strong no, given the other weaknesses we had. Having another Kane type player while severely limiting other available dollars would have weakened the organization long term. The Rangers now have a lot of talent – it will be interesting if Bread Man can lead them to a Cup.

  80. Ian, I agree that assessing player trades shouldn’t be looked at in isolation – it’s just one among many previous and future moves interdependent on one another.

    Another part of the Panarin trade that kind of irked me was he seemed to be guy many fans threw under the bus as not being a good playoff performer against St.Louis and then Nashville. That was a ridiculous and unfounded claim as the entire team almost but not quite played well enough to advance past St.Louis and then the entire team spit the bit against Nashville the following year. Panarin played better than most of the team but for some reason caught much of the criticism.

  81. Agree EB, alot of Bowman bashing for signing Panarin and the playoff failures before the trade.

  82. Just a side note on the importance of scouting. These college free agent and Euro signings when they develop create more opportunities to improved for no cost (just a roster spot).

    For all the angst about dealing some recent players like Kempny, Pan, Big Kahuna, the returns were simply a net gain relative to the opportunity cost.

    Unfortunately we aren’t in the old RedWings dynasty years with no cap and sign/pay whatever you want to keep the band together.

    Kahun returned Maata + 5th, whether you like it or not – Pitt then flipped him to get Sheary back and Rodrigues. Talk about a net loss trade.

  83. Hawks fans, as much as everyone misses Breadman, do we really want a cap situation that replicates the Maple Leafs right now? Talk about a top heavy roster with zero cap relief in sight(and i’m not convinced that roster is anything other than a highlight show which doesn’t put them any closer to a cup)..the fact is, as soon as Bowman signed Toews and Kane to their duel contracts, he ensured that there wouldn’t be another similarly paid player on the roster until those contracts ended..love it or hate it, that’s the reality..and the only way to work around those contracts is to build a complete team and to not rely on one super line like Panarin-Toews-Kane..it would be a hell of a lot of fun to watch, but we wouldn’t win a cup with those contracts..

  84. Rehashing old news here, but another aspect of the T&K max contract signings was the salary cap was predicted to continue to rise … and then it didn’t rise anywhere near as much as predicted and now here we are. But even then, the GM is still held accountable regardless of extenuating circumstances and I would say gambling on the salary cap prediction is less a true extenuating circumstance than a hopeful gamble. He gambled and lost because the Hawks haven’t won a playoff series since those deals kicked in after the 2015 Cup winning season.

    I doubt Stan was the only GM to plan on the cap going up at a faster clip than it did, but he was certainly one of the GMs that got hurt when the prediction was too optimistic.

  85. The only thing I see Bread Man doing being here/staying here is —- blocking our two and counting top 5 skill draft players.

    Which is going to get us back to a top team again.

  86. Certain players do make a difference but no player makes the difference 81 and 4 do.

    We need a new young wave to get that back.

  87. We traded Kahun because we knew we were getting Kubalik. So whatever we got for Kahun was free and Kubalik might be better/at least the same.

  88. Hey guys Thanks for an interesting morning read. It’s been a while since I’ve followed anything hockey related.

  89. good point @morrison regarding Kubalik and Kahun..Kahun reminds me of a lot of players the Hawks already have in the minors that project as bottom six forwards with hopefully, some scoring upside..he was definitely replaceable internally..Kubalik, on the other hand, looks to be a top six forward with legit scoring ability..something we don’t have in the system currently besides Dach..Kubalik already looks like a steal when you see what free agent 25-30 goal scorers have been getting paid the last couple of off seasons..let’s add another high end prospect in this draft and keep the waves of young upside players coming..

  90. very true @ebonyraptor..if the cap was at 90 mil this season, Toews and Kane’s contracts don’t look as overwhelming in regards to their total percentage..and in all honesty, I don’t have a huge problem with locking up your two superstars for eight years esp. since Toews was 27 and Kane was 26 when their new deals began..but once that was done, Bowman should have never extended Seabrook the very next offseason..he needed to start making some tough decisions once he signed Toews and Kane but instead, he handed out another expensive contract to a player not in his prime and then gave him a NMC..and you’re right, just assuming the cap will steadily increase is not an effective strategy for cap management..

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