Blackhawks Sign Riley Stillman to 3-Year Extension

On Sunday morning the Chicago Blackhawks announced the club has signed defenseman Riley Stillman to a three-year extension. The new deal runs through the 2023-24 season and has a $1,350,000 salary cap hit.

Stillman, 23, was acquired on April 8, 2021 from the Florida Panthers.

From the team’s release:

“Having a young, physical defenseman like Riley in the fold is exciting for the future of our team,” said Blackhawks President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Stan Bowman. “He is growing into an excellent all-around defenseman and that continued development is something we look forward to seeing firsthand. We love his size, and his toughness adds another piece to our defense.”

75 thoughts on “Blackhawks Sign Riley Stillman to 3-Year Extension

  1. Good signing to see, should become a solid blueline guy, another message for Zadorov to take heed. Few rfa forwards plus Hino still need addressed too.

  2. See it is good to have players come back after first time here. Hino is more pollished then when first starting out and has experience in other teams for perspective could help him out along. Nice to see him here for when were deep or until we are it kind of like a little mans Debrincat buzzsaws.

  3. Does this mean bye bye to #16? One other question for you folks. Who is the better ” young physical defenseman” Stillman at 1.3 or Dennis Gilbert at 900k?

  4. Timing, more of the grit style players or ones that have it in them with skill arnt here yet/ready. They are coming so the more skill players are here now last/this yr. More of them coming to most here now though. So adjusting the D=group Defensemen with this player and other moves to come we might not have to worry about Boq/other not cutting it longterm or trading to get waht we need more.

    Bowman and crew sometimes wait too long. Which means we donot waste any player that turns out to be good. Were not looking for nice 3rd pair Defensemen that have turned out good for other teams we can get those anytime. We are searching for the top 4 quality and whoever that ends up being Boq/other or not tahts fine.

    We want need three top 4 Defensemen to go along with whoever were going to get for two top pair Defensemen. So we have a quality top 5 and then find our next Rozy.

  5. Ian, where are we at for player bonuses. Did we get that tax paid off this yr to be on Q. Its ok if its not yet last/this/next yr for one yr just get squared up by the yr were ready/really ready to roll 4 lines with quality so we can upgrade/get deeper have 5 lines deep like 2013.

  6. Forgot to mention ER said we want players 19-27 only for reload after trading tradeline players each tardeline and others go we would only have 19 88 5. Figuring Dunks is retired at 40? by then maybe still here for 4 spot with a deep roster. So just those four. Everybody else under 27.

    Players like Hino Kapf Kubalik should be oldest players other then these few when were rolling 4 again.

    ER, tahts what you wanted right.

  7. Now Hawks need to sign … Hagel…. for 4-5 years ..
    Time will tell if it’s a good signing but at the price they sign it’s not a bad contract at all I think .

  8. Zadorov is wee bit slow and often out of position when covering in our zone, he’s good but Stillman has a little more speed and has a bigger up side. Too early to tell but one of these young kids will evolve and become a top four defense men. I feel just giving them time on ice is good but we need a DUNK like defense men coach and specialist to really help shape their future.

  9. Feels like both Strome and Zadorov will be gone. Take the $6m savings and sign a couple guys that can skate and play a tougher game. With the flat cap there should be plenty of decent options.

  10. I wonder then will Stillman be protected in the expansion draft – it seems like they wouldn’t sign him then leave him unprotected – if so then Z would likely not be protected or perhaps traded before or after the draft

  11. Wow StanBo must be a sleuth, that took all of 2 weeks to determine that he’s a player that’s vital to the hockey club but everybody else he has to have the entire year??? But other players that he acquires, it takes forever to determine if he wants them or not. You can thank Kid Coach for messing up Zadorov because ever since he was benched for that one game, he hasn’t done squat. You’d think that StanBo would have known that Zadorov wouldn’t have fit Kid Coach’s or StanBo’s scheme. If you don’t want your players to hit anybody then why’d you trade for a guy that can clear the crease and hit people when all you have your defense do is chase people??? That’s not Zadorov’s game. Attaboy StanBo, you crapped the farm again.

  12. I like this signing. His ceiling is probably 3rd-pairing but he skates well, adds the physical element and has potential to be solid defensively – so all good for $1.35M.

    Mo – correct on the age/timing for the rebuild. The math is the Cup window starts in 3-4 years and we want the window to last for 5 years so the players will age 8-9 years from now until the estimated closing of the next Cup window – therefore the players in the rebuild shouldn’t be older than 26-27 now or they will be too old to still be playing at a high level all the way through the Cup window.

  13. Yea I only see 19 88 5 2 here that are older then 26/27 now in a couple yrs or less.

  14. He has looked good so far. Now if they can get something for Zadorov in a trade that would be great. Z is asking for 4 million+ on a new contract and he sure isn’t worth that.

  15. Per Theo Fox:

    BLACKHAWKS PROTECTION LIST

    FORWARDS
    Alex DeBrincat
    Brandon Hagel
    David Kampf
    Patrick Kane
    Alex Nylander
    Dylan Strome
    Jonathan Toews

    DEFENSE
    Duncan Keith
    Connor Murphy
    Nikita Zadorov

    GOALIE
    Kevin Lankinen

    EXPOSURE REQUIREMENTS – FORWARDS
    Ryan Carpenter
    Brett Connolly
    Adam Gaudette
    Vincent Hinostroza

    EXPOSURE REQUIREMENTS – DEFENSE
    Calvin de Haan
    Riley Stillman

    EXPOSURE REQUIREMENTS – GOALIE
    Collin Delia
    Malcolm Subban

    Several forwards who could easily be exposed don’t qualify by not meeting the games played requirement, i.e. Josh Richardinson, Victor Ejdsell, Brandon Pirri, John Quenneville, Andrew Shaw, and Zack Smith. Henrik Borgstrom would likely be protected if he qualified.

    Defensemen Anton Lindholm and Riley Stillman are presently not meeting the games played requirement. Lindholm has 27 games left and won’t reach that limit being on Chicago’s AHL team but Stillman has 7 games left to reach the limit and likely will qualify.

    Brent Seabrook has 22 games left to qualify but he is retired and on LTIR until his contract expires so he is effectively ineligible. Even if healthy, he has a NMC like Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Jonathan Toews.

    For the goalies, Kevin Lankinen is the Blackhawks starter for the foreseeable future so it’s a no brainer to protect him out of the 3 goalies possible. That leaves Collin Delia and Malcolm Subban exposed.

    Notable players who are exempt from exposure include forwards Kirby Dach, Dominik Kubalik, Philipp Kurashev, and Pius Suter as well as defensemen Nicolas Beaudin, Adam Boqvist, Ian Mitchell, and Wyatt Kalynuk.

  16. Stillman has grit ,speed and a hockey i.q .

    Not sure what Zadorov brings except i get nervous when he`s on the ice .

  17. HAWKS 2015 – Did you read the 1st sentence?

    This is not my list. It is from Theo Fox.

    Don’t kill the messenger.

  18. I’m not sure of the requirements of exposing players in the expansion draft, but I thought all players that met the minimum games played requirement except the protected players were exposed/eligible to be drafted by Seattle, providing the team exposed a minimum of 1 forward, 1 d-man and 1 goalie. If that is correct – then why wouldn’t they play Stillman less than 7 more games this season so he wouldn’t be eligible and keep Zadorov on the protected list and still have deHaan on the exposed list to meet the minimum requirement? That would allow them to be sure to keep Stillman and Zadorov so they can trade Zadorov and get something back for him.

  19. ER –
    For teams already in the league, they will have to submit a protected players list that Seattle won’t be able to draft from. To do this, they will have two options.

    They can either choose to protect:
    Seven forwards, three defencemen and one goaltender
    Eight skaters (forwards or defencemen) and one goaltender.
    Players who currently have no-movement clauses as a part of their contracts at the time of the Expansion Draft (and refuse to waive it) have to be protected by their respective franchise and will count towards the team’s protected list.

    To add to that, all first and second-year professional skaters (including unsigned draft picks) will not be available for Seattle to select from and won’t be counted as part of the protected player’s list.

    They have to expose one defenceman who is a) under contract in 2021-22 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.

    They will have to have two forwards available for selection who are a) under contract in 2021-22 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.

    Finally, one goaltender from each club has to be made available. They have to be under contract in 2021-22 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2021-22. However, clubs choose to make a restricted free agent goalie available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.

    Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements unless approval is received from the NHL. The league may also deem these players exempt from selection. For example, the Detroit Red Wings would not be able to satisfy the Expansion Draft requirements by exposing Henrik Zetterberg (if he remains out of the lineup for the entirety of the 2020-21 season).

  20. WIJG – thanks for the exact numbers. So – assuming the Hawks will use the 7F/3D/1G format – expose deHaan as the (1) d-man, protect Zadorov and be sure Stillman doesn’t play 7 more games this season so he doesn’t meet minimum games played. That way you still have Zadorov to use for a trade chip if Stan decides to go that route.

  21. Absolutely true Ebony. One other thing to keep in mind. Stan had trade talks with various teams at the trade deadline about Zadorov and did not move him. But I would imagine Stan told GMs who were interested “let’s talk after the season, we are still trying to finish 4th”. Now that the playoffs are pretty much out of reach, the possibility of moving Zadorov after the expansion draft increases.

  22. Craig, good point. I’m not a Zadorov hater – I still think there is enough clay there to mold a decent d-man, even if his ceiling isn’t more than bottom pairing. But there’s a risk in locking up mid-pairing cap hit on a guy who probably will never be more than the #6 d-man in a Cup contending d-corps. The risk is less by investing in Stillman to potentially be that guy at less than half the cap hit.

    The rebuilt d-corps is certainly not in focus yet, but if the strategy is to try to balance LD/RD pairs, than having both Stillman and Zadorov is redundant. Right now Kalynuk is probably the favorite to be one of the (2) LD’s in the top-4 with a bevy of other young LD’s led by Beaudin with Kaiser and Vlassic in the hopeful category. Still a long way to go – for sure – but nore that I’ve seen Stillman and Stan signed him for 3 more years – I’m good with trading Zadorov and hopefully getting at least a 3rd round pick for him.

  23. For the record, I would offer Seattle: Nylander, Strome, Zadorov, DeHaan, Seabrook, Toews (if I knew he was not coming back), Subban, the entire Coaching staff, the GM and free Portillo’s (when in town) as a package deal.

    I felt I needed to throw Portillo’s in so there got something of value. I might add Uno’s Pizza if need be.

  24. Trading Portillo’s is a non-starter – absolutely no way we trade Portillo’s no matter what the return would be.

    My standard order:
    DCB N/L N/O
    SF
    MC

    YUMMY! :-)

  25. @wijg @ebony..there’s one issue with both the information that wijg provided and ebonyraptor’s response to that information..any player who isn’t on a team’s protected list or exempt from being drafted in the expansion draft because they haven’t been in the league long enough can be drafted by Seattle..meaning that teams can’t ”hide” a player from Seattle by not playing them enough games..that player could still be drafted by Seattle, they just wouldn’t be part of the group of players that are submitted by the Hawks to be exposed..the exposure requirements only dictate the minimum amount of forwards, dmen, and goalies that each team must provide to Seattle..but Seattle isn’t limited to drafting only those exposed players. Seattle can draft any player that isn’t protected or exempt..all of this means that the Blackhawks must protect Stillman in order to ensure that he isn’t drafted, regardless of how many games he plays from today until the end of the season..the following should be how the Hawks set themselves up for the expansion draft:

    Protected forwards-Toews, Kane, Cat, Strome, Nylander, Hagel, Borgstrom
    Exposed forwards-Connolly, Kampf, Carpenter, Hinostroza

    Protected defensemen-Keith, Murphy, Stillman
    Exposed defensemen-DeHaan, Zadorov, (Seabrook exempt)

    It would be beneficial to trade Zadorov before the expansion draft in order to help steer Seattle towards DeHaan but if that doesn’t occur, the Hawks may lose Zadorov without any compensation.

    @craig..just to play devils advocate, the teams that were interested in Zadorov at the trade deadline were probably interested because they were looking for a defenseman who can play a physical, punishing style of hockey for the playoffs while at the same time not have any cap commitments beyond this season..now that the trade deadline has passed, I would argue that the market for Zadorov shrinks as opposed to expands. Any team who trades for him now would have to 1. extend his contract and 2. utilize him for a full season before getting any playoff benefit since Zadorov’s style of play seems to work best in smaller doses. Personally, I think the Stillman contract indicates that the Hawks are fine with exposing Zadorov. The Hawks will either 1. trade him before the expansion draft or 2. expose him in the expansion draft or 3. if he isn’t selected by Seattle, offer him a one year QO at 3.2 and then try to move him before the season begins or at next year’s tdl. But from the Hawks standpoint, I think the Zadorov experiment has officially closed.

  26. Slayer, I don’t understand the distinction you’re making. If Stillman can be drafted when he hasn’t played the requisite number of games – does that mean the same would apply to a player like Boqvist? If not – why not?

  27. ER – The number of games only applies to the minimum number of players that must be made available. If they don’t meet any other exemption then they are available regardless of the number of games played. I believe Boquist is expected empt as he is still in his second year as a pro. There is no way Borgstrom will be exposed, he will definitely be protected. I think we are in no man’s land with Zadorov. I don’t see anyone trading for him before the draft and if we protect him then we will need to pay him $3m – no thanks.

  28. Thanks MS – so the distinction between Stillman being eligible and Boqvist ineligible is number of pro years – cool, now it makes sense.

  29. SlayerSE7en- Given those choices you listed,I would protect Hinostroza and dare them to take Strome. Given that they got rid of Bowey,I assume they are keeping Zadorov and making him available. From the Bowey initial acquisition and his departure,Zadorov,s value must have taken a huge nosedive in the Hawks eyes. I would make Subban available also.

  30. Read some quotes from stillman about the signing. He loves the city. Good on the team to sign him after him being here only two weeks and before the warm weather sets in lol. Opportunity is here and the sky is the limit for him. Not sure how much the team sees in him but hes locked up for three years so there is some certainty there. Odds are cone draft time stan takes the best offer among all defenseman and why not. Murphy will likely be looking for that career defining contract especially waiting things out post covid…i would. Same for dehaan. Blackhawks still can and should evaluate eating a cap hit albeit a small one. I here sometimes the russians like to stick together and why not comfortable to have someone who speaks your language around. Perhaps he can help sell the team to those two russian rfa mentioned in the other article. Or Ovechkin;)

  31. @ebonyraptor..Stillman, with regards to the expansion draft, is considered to be in his third year as a pro..Boqvist, as MS correctly pointed out, is in his second year as a pro so he’s exempt. You can also go to Capfriendly and take a look at the list of exempt players for the Hawks. Just remember these two points. If you’re not exempt from the draft and you’re not protected by the Hawks using one of their protection spots, you can be drafted. The amount of games played is only used to determine the minimum number of players that have to be exposed by a team. But theoretically, once that minimum number of players is met, a team could still have additional players that are exposed to the expansion draft since it’s impossible to protect your entire roster using the 7/3/1 formula.

    (taken from and credit to Capfriendly for the terminology)
    First & Second Year Pros
    All players who have accrued two or less professional seasons at the end of the 2020-21 season, as well as all unsigned draft choices appearing on the teams reserve list, will be exempt from the upcoming expansion draft.

  32. Ebony I am with you on Zadorov. I’m not nearly as down on him as many others.
    I love the fact he will absolutely thump somebody such as Patric Hornqvist. Zadorov’s turnovers are troubling there is no arguing that.

    I felt the return for Saad was relatively weak.
    Who was a Saad comparable at the deadline two weeks ago ? Perhaps Nick Foligno?
    Toronto gave up a first rounder for him.

    One other thing to keep in mind with Stan is he seems to be stubborn to a fault. He hung on to Rundblad after the eye test and Q clearly indicated he was not going to amount to a decent NHL player.

  33. @timw-I only included Hinostroza because he’s a forward that the Hawks like and I think they’ll try to bring him back next year..but with regards to the expansion draft, he’s ufa after the season..so no need to protect a ufa when we can just sign him after the season..Seattle can’t draft any ufa’s either so the Hawks should have every opportunity to sign Hinostroza as soon as the expansion draft is over. Yes, Lankinen will be protected which will expose Delia and Subban.

    I would protect Strome only because he’s on a very reasonable contract which could make him enticing to a team at next year’s tdl..but unfortunately, I do think the Hawks are ready to move on from him. He may not even make it to the expansion draft. I see a trade in his future whether it’s sooner or later. If the Hawks do sign and bring over Shalunov, then he’s really done since Shalunov can slide in immediately at 3c.

  34. Slayer. The scratching of Strome was pretty much the end for him. I was told the Hawks would have taken a 2nd rounder for him last off season, before he got that 2 year contract.
    Without Toews and Dach this was his big chance and it did not happen for him.
    He simply cannot play Colliton’s “relentless style” like say Hagel can.

    The expansion draft is one big game of poker and negotiation. Imagine if Stan struck a deal in advance with Ron Francis that he SB would leave Strome unprotected in exchange for a 4th round pick. So Stan keeps pretty much all the guys he wants such as Kampf and Carpenter and moves out a guy that Colliton does not want anyways.

  35. If this signals the eventual departure of Zadorov for a better player and sans the turnovers at one-third the price, this is an excellent signing.

    How about Bowman admitting his worst mistake the last 5 years and jettisoning the coach after the season.

  36. I have a comment on Johnathan Toews. I feel it behooves him to speak publicly about his health condition . Whatever he has no doubt other people are affected by a similar condition . Being transparent will help many others. Has he not thought about that ? Very few people earn 9 mill a year like he does . His reluctance to speak out only lends itself to a myriad of rumours . Is he depressed? Does he suffer from CTE? Does he have ALS ? Does he have MS? Etc etc Come on Johnathan STAND UP. The community will still support you .

  37. One other thing to keep in mind about the expansion draft is that the new team GM is also looking for expiring contracts that he can flip at the deadline for picks. In Chicago’s case, if Ron Francis can nab Ryan Carpenter, plug him in for cheap for 60 games, then move him at the deadline for a draft pick it’s a win-win for Francis in the short term and for development.

  38. Iceman. You never want to be the guy who replaces a legend, in this case Q. You want to be the guy who replaced the successor. Colliton will only take this team so far, cultivating the kids. When the Hawks appear to be contenders again, he will likely be replaced as the heat is turned up by Danny Wirtz on Stan Bowman.

  39. wrap

    i trade every portillo’s and protect al’s beef on taylor street.

    stillman three years younger than zadorov, brings it every night, and already signed for less than 40% of what it will take to sign zadorov. why would they resign 16?

  40. need big bodies he will hit clear the front of net bo is the worst d-man on the team 5 to 6 mistakes every game hes to small no d-man try to make him a wing

  41. Seattle has to select 30 players in total (1 from each team) but only 20 have to be under contract – technically I believe they can select a UFA such as Hinostroza – free agent signing period starts a week after the expansion draft (draft July 21 UFA starts July 28)

    Having said that it wouldn’t make sense for Seattle to select a UFA unless they had good reason to believe that player was willing to sign there – maybe they throw more $ at a UFA than other teams either could do or would be willing to do

    It may turn out that Francis picks no UFAs but I do think he can if he wants to

  42. Craig one thing that Bowman hates is arbitration, if he qos Zadorov he can then opt for arbitraion, which Bowman wants to avoid. I wonder if he doesn’t qo Zadorov, lets him become an ufa and signs him for less then his current contract, if no offers for fas out there again this year, like he has done with others. This would also allow to not need to protect Zadorov as he is an ufa, then he could protect Stillman and not have to lose either if wants Zadorov back.

  43. Ian – excellent point – I think he did that with Kampf last year didn’t he – no qo then signed him for cheaper as a UFA

  44. Make sure Collitan gets this memo.

    and be sure Stillman doesn’t play 7 more games this season so he doesn’t meet minimum games played.

  45. Scratch that memo after reading slayer post. I like Syalers expansion list better.

    Better trade Zad because getting nothing for Saad is unacceptable.

  46. This.

    This is the thing when were deep again a player like this can really nail em. Clean wise and people wont be expecting it because of game flow and them Bang! this guy nails em yea nail the bastard.

    CRAIG NIGRELLI
    April 25, 2021 at 7:32 pm
    Ebony I am with you on Zadorov. I’m not nearly as down on him as many others.
    I love the fact he will absolutely thump somebody such as Patric Hornqvist.

  47. Another player that could be of interest to Seattle is Gaudette. Quite possibly be one the forwards who will odd man out next season, again arbitration eligible something to avoid, but only 24 and still couple more years of rfa control. Maybe he was acquired as to use as bait for seattle, could be a player they would take. He is eligible and meets compliancy needs as well. If he is in plans for next season hom and Borgstrom are added to protected list with Toews, Kane, Cat, Hagel and Nylander.

    Forwards who I would say could be moved this summer are, Strome, Carpenter, Gaudette, Kurashev and because Colliton doesn’t seem too warm towards him maybe Kubalik. He certainly has highest trade value of those ones as well. Defensively besides Dehaan, Zadorov most likely unless they decide to move one the young group of defensmen.

  48. @wrap, yes, technically Seattle can select a ufa(I think they have a two or three day window to negotiate with any ufa after the season ends and before they have to submit their picks)..I should have stated in my post not that they can’t but that in Chicago’s case specifically, I don’t think that Seattle will. The Hawks are going to expose enough players with some value that I think Seattle will select from who is available.

  49. May i suggest zadarov on the power play hovering between the top of the circles…moving as needed

  50. Slayer ufas are irrelevant, because teams aren’t protecting them, when there is 10 days after the draft or so before fa opens to sign them, if they want to. Yes true if Seattle who has a window to talk to fas, signs a teams ufa that counts as player lost but again they can agree on a deal for when fa opens and pick anothet player too. Only there in name only, so they are considered part of the draft but in reality they aren’t.

  51. Wrap I think your going see Francis looking to take as many picks and prospects from teams to pick the player they want him to pick, like cap strapped Tampa wanting him to pick Tyler Johnson for sweetener type of deals. Some teams will be forced to leave players exposed they don’t want to, so a prospect to take another player, VGK made a killing doing this.

  52. Honest Guy, He can’t move or shoot the puck. Move him down directly in front of the net. He has fallen out of favor so he will be gone anyway. The Stillman signing sealed his fate.

  53. It’ll be very interesting to see who Hawks end up protecting between Stillman and Z and secondarily whether Strome gets protected or not

    It seems now that Stillman is signed it makes sense to protect him

    And generally it makes sense to protect Strome as well even if you are planning on trading him (instead of risking losing him for nothing) unless you trade him before the expansion draft

    It seems that it’s quite possible Stan works out a deal with Seattle and includes some sort of sweetener so that the Kraken take the player the Hawks would prefer they take such as Zadorov or deHaan

  54. I don’t have an issue with Stillman being signed, but I don’t see anything to get excited about either. This is a guy who was found to be expendable from a team in the thick of a playoff hunt. Maybe they didn’t have the roster spot to let him develop or maybe something else? I think he is a solid depth guy, but not likely to be a difference maker on a team looking to add difference makers.

    I think he has potential to be a solid bottom four guy. But finding solid bottom four guys on the blue line is not what is preventing the Hawks from being a playoff/Cup contending team. The Hawks need to bring in elite talent. Maybe that talent is waiting to be developed among the current group of prospects, but the realization of that potential does not appear to be imminent. This move has the feel of kicking the can down the road, keeping the team close to a playoff spot but never good enough to get there. The dreaded zone of mediocrity.

    If Stillman ends up replacing someone above him in the lineup and can provide what one of those guys is providing for a fraction of the price (Zadorov, DeHaan, etc,) then this is a great value signing. Especially if that cap space is used in some way to bring in that missing elite talent. But if Stillman is just clogging up a roster spot that can’t be freed up because the Hawks can’t move one of the players ahead of him, then what is the point?

  55. I’ll admit Stillman may be the new shiny object capturing my attention and replacing Zadorov in the tough d-man category. I had high hopes Zadorov could provide the toughness quotient while playing adequate enough defense to make him a mainstay in the rebuild, but with every poor play Zadorov made that hope faded and at this point I think giving Stillman a chance to be that guy at a much lower Cap hit seems like a good idea to me. That doesn’t mean Stillman will prove to be that guy but I’d rather give him a shot for relatively cheap than hope we’re not throwing good money after bad with Zadorov.

    Interesting quote from Colliton today – “De Haan remains day-to-day but is not likely to play in the near future.” With deHaan out and playoffs hopes all but mathematically eliminated, I would sit Zadorov too and go with Keith, Murphy and 4 “kids” for the remaining 8 games. Hell, even go so far as to play 11F/7D and get all 5 young d-men into the lineup. It will be against tough competition but let’s see them play together for a bunch of games in a row.

    Play Keith and Murphy as one pair and then (2) LD/RD pairs of Kalynuk-Boqvist and Beaudin-Mitchell with Stillman subbing in throught the game.

  56. Zadarov v Gilbert – I pick Zadarov by a nose! They are both turnover machines, without much poise, or hockey IQ. But, Zadarov had some stretches where he played well. Maybe Peter Chiarelli will get the Seattle job and StanBo can fleece him. Zadarov and deHaan will be left unprotected. Addition by subtraction!

  57. Besides sending a message to Zadorov, Stillman’s signing may be a big help next summer when both goalies, Murphy, Boqvist, Kalynuk, forwards Kurashev, Kubalik, Dach will need new deals done. Having his role filled for that caphit for next 3 years gives them options and a moveable contract in this flat era if needed.

    Wrap as crazy as it sounds i wonder a buyout of Keith with his ok is a possibility. His caphit woukdn’t go away but the buyout cost plus allowing a Mitchell or Beaudin a roster spot for an elc cost that expires same time wouldn’t cost anymore, bank money for their deals too. Plus Keith would still get paid 2.4m of remaining 3.6m in actual salary owed, if he wanted to play one more year with a team for another cup run he wouldake that amount back easily. Still be able to retire a Blackhawk with a one day deal. Be able to protect Murphy, Stillman and Zadorov with the 4 exempt youngsters as the core blueline next season. Kinda out there but would work if he is not happy.

  58. Ian – that’s a very interesting idea – of course I think you’d need Keith on board and I have no idea if he’d even consider it

    However the fact that Stan was moved so quickly to sign Stillman makes you think he has a plan in mind whether it’s to leave Z unprotected or trade him or who knows trade Murphy

    I’m of mixed minds regarding Z because there was a stretch of games when he did play very well but lately he’s been bad

    I think the likeliest scenario is still some side deal with Seattle to allow the Hawks to keep Z and Stillman and Murphy while Seattle takes DeHaan

  59. Agree i’m still thinking that is what happens too Wrap, was just thinking of a way to accommodate Keith if he wants out. Could actually do that without needing him to waive his nmc, whereas a trade would need him too, although you would give up any return he brings in a trade.

  60. t. ivan and wrap

    both of you alluded to the stretch of good games zadorov played and that is the issue in a nutshell. the guy is in a contract year and the best he came up with this year was some good games in stretches……. sans consistency. no way to trust him to come to play every night with a three year contract in the $3.5 million-$4 million range if he refused to do so in a contract year. saad is not all that, but he is a much better player than zadorov and it was a garbage trade for the hawks. if stillman provides toughness, grit, and effort and logs 14/15 minutes a night as a third pairing d-man his contract is a big win by filling the tough d-man guy roll for in the neighborhood of $2.5 million a year less than zadorov would have cost. money better spent than on #16.

  61. Hawks 29 – agreed that you don’t spend a lot on Z but as Ian said Stan may not give him a qo then he becomes a UFA and any team including the Hawks can sign him fir whatever amount is mutually agreeable and Z probably won’t fine a $4 mil offer out there – then maybe he’s back at a reduced cap hit

    Having said that I’m ok with moving on from Z with the way Stillman has played – the priority should be creating space for the young up and comers on D anyway

  62. Saad out for up to a month just before the playoffs, Bad break for the fleece master known as Joe Sakic.

  63. The only benefit from Saad trade was likely signing Janmark and what his tdl return was able to bring. If that was best offer for Saad in off season, then would have gotten whatever he brought at tdl, then have to find a bigger defenseman elsewhere.

    Lankinen, Subban, Murphy, Boqvist, Kalynuk, Dach, Kubalik and Kurashev are costing about 12.75m next year on final year of their deals, if they are brought back on new deals after next season, wonder what their total cost is. Obviously next season will go a long way to deciding that but right now have to say double that amount would be ballpark for them. Zadorov aside, this years rfas, Suter, Hagel, Kampf, Nylander, Gaudette, plus Hino it looks like won’t be a big cost. Maybe they are all re-signed for 10m total ballpark hopefully, plus add elcs for Borgstrom and Reichel. That would be 11 forwards, 6D with Stillman, Mitchell and Beadin, plus both Goalies signed through 23-24 season for 40m, leaving Kane, Cat and Maybe Toews to resign and what appear plenty of caproom to make any adds nerded to fill any voids in roster. Look to be in pretty decent shape capwise next few years.

  64. I don’t have inside information so I could be way off, but it seemed to me that all transactions involving Saad were made for cost certainty purposes. I recall Saad’s father was the driving force in contract negotiations the first time which precipitated the Saad/Anisimov trade. The Saad/Panarin trade was made because Saad was locked in 4 more years while Panarin was going to command a big pay day after 2 more seasons. The Saad/Zadorov trade was made because Saad’s contract was up after this season and he (and his father?) would demand at least as much AAV ($6M) and Stan didn’t want to commit that much Cap space to a secondary player during this rebuild.

    So I believe in all three instances the trades were made for salary cap implications more so than from hockey on-ice purposes. Therefore, simply looking at the player for player comparisons doesn’t tell the whole story behind the trades.

  65. EB that’s what drives most trades, Lehner and Gus last year for picks that became Commesso and Kaiser, Schmaltz for Strome. If your not going to sign them, then you move them them vs walking for nothing. Also trying to get market value is the key. Offering Saad to Avs and retaining half his salary seems like Zadorov was a weak return but in this flat cap era not sure what offers were there. Obviously size and grit on blueline was an off season priority, so that is why he pulled the trigger.

  66. Ian, it doesn’t change the point you’re making but I’ll pick a nit anyways – the Hawks retained $1M – not half, which would have been $3M. It was a gamble that Zadorov would be consistently better than he has been so the trade looks bad in retrospect but I didn’t mind it when it happened given all the circumstances. Win some and lose some.

  67. EB you weren’t alone, I remember at the time saying the I thought the return was low for Saad and seemed to be alot of people who disagreed with me back then.

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