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Sport Free-agent focus: Who stays, who goes for Blackhawks?

04:20  23 september  2020
04:20  23 september  2020 Source:   prohockeyrumors.com

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Chicago Blackhawks . With free agency now less than a month away, many teams are already looking ahead to when it opens up. He’s two years away from unrestricted free agency so this is the time when a long-term pact should be the focus for both sides.

With free agency now less than a month away, many teams are already looking ahead to when it opens up. There will be several prominent players set to hit D Erik Gustafsson – With five unrestricted free - agent defensemen, the team is likely to have to make some tough decisions in the near future.

With free agency now less than a month away, many teams are already looking ahead to when it opens up.  There will be several prominent players set to hit the open market while many teams have key restricted free agents to re-sign.  Chicago has several notable young players in need of new deals as well as a long-term veteran who is hoping to stick around a little longer.

a man wearing a uniform: Can the Blackhawks find their way to a deal to keep Corey Crawford around or will he leave after 17 years with the organization? © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Can the Blackhawks find their way to a deal to keep Corey Crawford around or will he leave after 17 years with the organization?

Key Restricted Free Agents

F Dominik Kubalik – No one really knew what to expect from the 25-year-old entering his first season but even the most optimistic of guesses likely wouldn’t have had Kubalik getting 30 goals or finishing third in Calder Trophy voting.  But that’s exactly what happened even with six forwards averaging more ice time per game than him in the regular season.  He put up front line goal totals with the playing time of a fringe second liner.  Now, both sides have to find a suitable compromise at a time where there aren’t really any good comparable players out there as let’s face it, rookies that come over at his age typically don’t put up 30 goals.  That makes a short-term deal a more palatable scenario and with there being three years until he’s eligible for free agency, it’s the likeliest outcome as well.

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Blackhawks mailbag: Potential free agent targets, Erik Gustafsson's value and offseason priorities originally appeared on nbcsportschicago.com. Every Friday we'll shoot to do a Blackhawks mailbag, so be sure to stay with us all summer long. Thanks to all who submitted this week!

Dzingel is a free agent that would fit the Blackhawks needs on the third or fourth line. There are many who would love to see him in a Blackhawks sweater. With his projected salary cap a Everyone is hoping that Crawford stays healthy this season but another concussion would make the end of his

F Dylan Strome – Strome’s second season in Chicago wasn’t quite as productive as his first as his output dipped from 51 points in 58 games to 38 in 58.  However, that’s still a 54-point pace over a full schedule which is production equivalent to a second liner which is pretty good considering he was seemingly on the outs in Arizona just two years ago.  Even so, it feels like there is still some uncertainty surrounding his upside.  Is the number three pick in 2015 a core player that should be built around or is he expendable in the right situation?  His production so far with Chicago suggests the former but when the beginning of Strome’s career gets factored in, the decision isn’t so easy.  Suffice it to say, a long-term deal probably isn’t in the cards, especially when he doesn’t have arbitration eligibility.

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I don't know what the Blackhawks are going to do in free agency to fix their blown chance at another Stanley Cup, but because I'm a pleaser, not a teaser 1. Center Paul Stastny: A fast, talented skater who 's perfect for the moment that coach Joel Quenneville yanks Andrew Shaw off a line with Patrick

Analyzing every Vegas free agent — restricted and unrestricted — and the likelihood of Avalanche Blackhawks Blues Jets Predators Stars Wild. There will be some difficult decisions this offseason as the Golden Knights maneuver to make cap space for restricted free agent William Karlsson.

F Drake Caggiula – With nine goals and six assists in 40 games, Caggiula’s numbers don’t stand out but when you factor in that he averaged less than 12 minutes a night, they look a bit more impressive.  He’s an effective energy winger when healthy but staying in the lineup has been a challenge.  That, coupled with his $1.5M qualifying offer, presents a tough call for GM Stan Bowman.  There’s no denying that Caggiula is a useful player on their roster but with limited cap room and other notable players ahead of him needing new deals, this could be a case where they non-tender him to look for a cheaper replacement (or to try to get him to take a bit of a pay cut).

Other RFAs: F Alexandre Fortin, D Slater Koekkoek, D Ian McCoshen, G Malcolm Subban, D Joni Tuulola

Key Unrestricted Free Agent

G Corey Crawford – Having moved out Robin Lehner and Erik Gustafsson at the trade deadline, Crawford is the one and only regular NHL player that’s set to hit the open market next month.  His case is a particularly interesting one.  For starters, the Blackhawks are the only organization he has been a part of since they drafted him in the second round back in 2003 and has played in 13 different NHL seasons for them.  Along the way, he became a good starter which helped him pick up a couple of Stanley Cup titles.

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But in recent years, he hasn’t been able to stay in the lineup as frequently to the point where Bowman brought in Lehner in free agency just to have another reliable option.  Crawford’s year-to-year performance has varied considerably and he’s coming off of a season where his numbers were decent (2.77 GAA, .917 SV%) but not near the top of the leaderboard either.  Between that and his age (35), it’s hard to see him as the long-term solution.  A multi-year deal may even be tough to do and it seems likely that his next contract will come a bit cheaper than the $6M AAV that he has played under for the past six years.

Crawford has said that he wants to stay in Chicago but that he also wants to be a starter which is a role he hasn’t really exclusively held for a while.  Can they find their way to a deal to keep him around or will he leave after 17 years with the organization?

Other UFAs: F Joseph Cramarossa, D T.J. Brennan, F Anton Wedin

Projected Cap Space

At the moment, Chicago has a little over $73.5M in commitments to 17 players, per CapFriendly.  Getting all of their impact players re-signed for the $8M difference isn’t going to happen so some trimming needs to be done, be it through a buyout, trade, or both.  While Brent Seabrook and Andrew Shaw missed significant portions of the season and didn’t suit up in the bubble, both expect to be ready to start 2020-21 which takes relying on LTIR off the table for now.  Things could change in-season but for the time being, Bowman needs to free up some cap room to keep the core of his team intact.

Free-agent focus: Who stays, who goes for Blue Jackets?

  Free-agent focus: Who stays, who goes for Blue Jackets? While the Columbus Blue Jackets have no UFA’s of note, they still have their work cut out for them with a laundry list of RFA’s, including several core players. © Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Getting Dubois, 22, locked up long-term is the core objective of the Blue Jackets’ off-season. Key Restricted Free AgentsF Pierre-Luc Dubois – Getting Dubois, 22, locked up long-term is the core objective of the Blue Jackets’ off-season. Over the three seasons of his entry-level contract, Dubois totaled 158 points in 234 games, including a 61-point campaign in 2018-19 and a 57-point pace this season.

Who knows? What we do know is both Quenneville and Bowman insisted they’re comfortable with the #HeyLaz Do you think a trade for Hamhuis/Vrbata would’ve better helped the # Blackhawks A whole lot of teams would want Andrew Ladd as a free agent . And the Hawks will need to offer more

Bam, who I think is an unbelievable talent and the modern center of what centers will be over the next decade Antetokounmpo seems to want to stay in Milwaukee when he becomes a 2021 free agent , but only Obviously everybody talks about his impending free agency , and I think everything is open

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Blackhawks interested in Penguins' Matt Murray? .
Murray is coming off the worst statistical season of his career as he managed just a .899 save percentage in 38 games (all starts).The 26-year-old is set to become a restricted free agent with arbitration eligibility next week, and in a recent column, Garrioch noted that there’s a sense that Murray’s preference might be to go through that process and become eligible for unrestricted free agency next offseason.  While the acquiring team could certainly try to sign him to a new deal, that particular approach won’t help his trade value, which may not be all that high anyway given the other options available in trades and free agency.

usr: 1
This is interesting!