In his weekly “30 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman noted the following (#12):
“Chicago will try to get a forward. Trevor van Riemsdyk, who has played just one of three games, is available, but the Blackhawks may need to sweeten the pot.”
It comes as little/no surprise that TvR could be available. With the addition of free agent Michal Kempny, return of veteran Michal Rozsival and emergence of rookie Gustav Forsling, van Riemsdyk has found himself buried. After appearing in all 82 regular season games last year, he has only appeared in the regular season opener thus far in the 2016-17 season – and that was only because Niklas Hjalmarsson was suspended.
TvR is in the first year of a two-year contract with an $825k cap hit. The 25-year-old will be a restricted free agent after the 2017-18 season.
What would the Hawks want for TvR?
Given the Blackhawks’ current cap situation (read: no room), getting his cap hit off the books would be a win. But with Freidman indicating Stan Bowman is looking to add a veteran forward, there is one position that stands out as a significant need.
On Friday morning, Scott Powers noted at The Athletic that Blackhawks not named Toews or Kruger have won only 31.7 percent of their faceoffs this season, making center a position of need. Artem Anisimov’s performance to date has been a major issue at the dot, but he would appear to be cemented between Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin on what continues to be one of the best offensive lines in hockey.