NHL free agency is rapidly approaching, and the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to make some changes after missing the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
Here are the latest rumors and rumblings surrounding the Blackhawks as the “legal tampering” period begins in the NHL.
No John Carlson in Chicago
If the Blackhawks had any dreams of pursuing soon-to-be free agent John Carlson, they have now been dashed.
The Washington Capitals announced Sunday that they’ve inked the defenseman to an eight-year contract extension that will pay him $64 million in total.
Now that Carlson is off the market, players like Mike Green, Calvin De Haan, and Ian Cole figure to get a lot of attention from teams looking to upgrade on their blue line, and while it’s unclear exactly how much money the Blackhawks will have available to do so, they’ll be hoping to improve an area that struggled mightily a season ago.
Blackhawks Eyeing Possible Back-Up Goaltender?
According to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Blackhawks have reached out to representatives for goaltender Carter Hutton, who is one of the most sought-after netminders on the market this offseason.
Hutton, who spent many years in the Blackhawks’ system before moving on to the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues, had a solid 2017-18 campaign, with a 2.09 goals against average and a 17-7-3 record in 32 games.
There will absolutely be questions about his age, as he’ll turn 33 later this year, but with questions surrounding Corey Crawford’s status, the team might try to get an insurance policy to replace him, with other options like Jaroslav Halak and Kari Lehtonen also available on the market.
-Stan Bowman would neither confirm nor deny that the Blackhawks are one of the teams that has expressed interest in soon-to-be free agent center John Tavares. The former number one pick could command a massive payday on the open market, and while it’s unclear how the Blackhawks could afford him, the team may try to make a big splash and score their way out of their defensive issues of a season ago.
-The Blackhawks dealt forward Tanner Kero to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Michael Chaput on Sunday. The move is likely just a bottom-six shuffle of players who haven’t hit their potential in their respective cities.