Report: Blackhawks Looking For Top Line Forward

The Blackhawks have reportedly been interested in adding a scoring forward for some time. And a couple names have consistently been linked to Chicago.

James van Riemdsyk, who was the pick immediately following Patrick Kane in the 2007 NHL Draft, has a $4.25M cap hit through the 2017-18 season. He has scored 150 goals in 485 games between Toronto and Philadelphia; the Flyers drafted him and later traded him to the Leafs in 2012 for Luke Schenn. He has 14 goals and 19 assists in 39 games this season, and (obviously) his brother plays for the Hawks.

Gabriel Landeskog was also a second overall pick, his selection coming at the 2012 NHL Draft (following Ryan Nugent-Hopkins). He has posted 259 points in 386 career NHL games, all with Colorado. Landeskog carries a $5,571,429 cap hit through the 2020-21 season, and he is currently the captain of the Avalanche.

JvR will turn 28 on May 4, while Landeskog won’t celebrate his 25th birthday until late November.

It’s been widely reported that the Avs are open for business, with Nathan MacKinnon the only player who has been considered “untouchable” by Colorado’s front office. Chicago has also been linked to Jarome Iginla (a name that surfaces in Chicago almost annually over the past decade), but his $5,333,333 cap hit and the fact that his contract expires after this season make adding him a longer shot.

One if the issues we have discussed previously is the upcoming expansion draft. Ryan Hartman, who is off to a great start this season, will be eligible for the expansion draft. With him being young, affordable and under control, his continued stretch of strong play could make him a popular name for Vegas.

The prospect of potentially losing Hartman – and the Hawks’ upcoming cap considerations – are reasons for Chicago to look for a player under control beyond this season.

Considering the expansion draft, the Blackhawks have tough decisions to make whether they make a trade or not. Up front, Jonathan Toews and Kane will undoubtedly be protected. Artem Anisimov and Marian Hossa both have clauses on their contracts that would protect them as well, unless the organization asks them to waive those protections. Because of his service time, Artemi Panarin is exempt from the expansion draft.

Marcus Kruger would figure to be a player who will likely be linked to both upcoming trade rumors and the expansion draft. With a $3,083,333 cap hit through 2018-19, Kruger is a good enough defensive center to get some attention. But his cap hit – and limited offensive game – aren’t nearly enough for the Hawks to aggressively go after a player the likes of JvR or Landeskog.

16 thoughts on “Report: Blackhawks Looking For Top Line Forward

  1. Yes scoring needs to be addressed but Hawks Achilles heel remains “defensive play” -right Joel? especially in their own end! Firstly, Crawford should NEVER play the puck! He’s not good at it and it often ends in disaster. Secondly, minor Atom 101 is “Clear the puck first”! How many times have we seen 2 or 3 forwards clearing the zone BEFORE the puck is out, resulting in odd-man 5 on 2, or 5 on 3 scoring chances! Thirdly- ALWAYS be between your goalie and the opposition- otherwise THEY have the edge and WE are often penalized! Lastly- make the passes crisp! OMG how many lame passes have we seen going to opponents sticks! Sure get a free agent- not Iggie! What about Kadri??

  2. What way could you make the roster better now, about the same for coming yrs and make the salary cap work for coming yrs. Add core caliber guy who has a better caphit for coming yrs with a 25, 50 or 25-50% retained caphit and then not be able to keep one of the core guys we have had. In which you would get most/same/more back in return at draft. Wouldnot like not keeping which ever guy, but we have to do what we have to do anyways and this is a way to keep roster same overall and better now. Trust the Bowman and crew have a plan to keep the wheel rolling in the coming yrs. Prob use the expansion team draft picks situation in our favor as well. Tuff decisions but good for team longtime.

  3. Help for the playoff run and protect hartman and rfas as your other 3 forwards assuming kruger has to go to make cap room expose him and the pickup to expansion draft and a trade after the draft who ever doesn’t go to get your cap in order. Sounds good to me

  4. Sell out for the Cup over the next 3 seasons. It would be great if teams could contend forever but it isn’t so. And, it isn’t as though this team will be total crap in three seasons time – just that there remains certainty about the core in the short term. If it costs prospects like Schmaltz, Motte, Forsling or Hartman to add JVR or Landeskog you absolutely do it. (or I would at least)

    I think the sooner a GM adds to his roster the better in terms of price. There is going to be an arms race this season thanks to the tightly contested Eastern Conference. Factor in the drop off in power among teams in the West and this should be another all in year.

    Sure it’s tough to watch picks and other assets move out but if you’re not doing everything you can to win now, whats the point?

  5. As a Hawks fan living in Denver, Landeskog would be great with the hawks. His scoring is down but that is mostly due to the pathetic defense he has to make up for by constantly battling for and chasing pucks. No one on the avalanche plays a two way game except him. Landeskog on a fist line with toews and Hossa would be deadly. Avs would probably take a trade of gustaffson, Svedberg, and a 3rd round pick, they are that desperate for any young defenseman. Only major issue is salary, which is why I’d guess a major deal doesn’t get done, but would be nice to dream about.

  6. How would an expiring contract hurt the chances of a player coming here? Pay less for a rental and wouldn’t have to carry the deal next year when they’ll also be cap strapped. Sure you lose the player for nothing…but they can’t afford them anyway.

  7. If a major deal for a Landeskog or Duchene type player is done money has to go the other way. The only 2 would be Kruger or Seabrook. Seabrook has the NMC he’d have to waive. And Kruger doesn’t have the value there. So I’d be shocked if they can swing a trade for a high dollar player with term left.

  8. Ernie – the focus of recent rumors involving the Blackhawks is they’re looking for a forward under control beyond this season in the event they lose Hartman.

  9. Can protect Hartman under the 7-3-1 rules. 19-88-81-15-38-16 (if you want). Re-sign Panik and Rasmussen and expose them or Re-sign Desjardins to protect Panik. Expose TVR and protect 2-7-4.

  10. That makes sense tab if they get somebody beyond this season they has to traded you recoup some of what gave up to ge them instead of letting somebody go as a ufa and somebody else in draft and no return.

  11. With Panarin’s cap hit rising to $6M next season, I can’t see how the math works to add a JvR or Landeskog.

  12. The way i see the math working is you are able to protect hartman who’s salary does fit and expose jvr or landeskog with kruger in the draft and trade which ever one or both if somebody else picked and get back what you can in prospects or picks.

  13. Never going to get close to equal value. Hawks would have no leverage. See the Sharp trade. And Teravainen trade as well. The sellers now have a bidding war. High prices and they don’t HAVE TO unload players. The Hawks would have to unload a non expiring deal and every team would try to get a top 6 player for bargain a bargain.

    The only plus would be if Vegas takes the player off your hands…if you can call that a plus. You’ve just lost a player for nothing and probably gave up more to acquire him than a player with an expiring deal.

  14. I guess it depends on how much value you place on having quality help for the playoff run and not having to expose hartman. If it was straight up trade value no you wouldn’t probably get back same value but if resigning someone to expose was how he wanted to it you would of thought bowman would have not signed all one year contracts last summer. By getting an expiring contract you let 2 players go with one possibly being hartman and still in the position of having to move kruger or someone not an option i want to see.

  15. This article indicated the hawks are going to be BUYERS at the trade deadline, exposing another wall prediction as ludicrous!

    October 24, 2016 at 11:08 pm
    All kidding aside- when do the Hawks become sellers- and try to “Showcase” the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago??? Seriously

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