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Tracking Chicago Blackhawks Free Agents

By Colin Likas
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Jun 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) after game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Saad

Restricted; $833,000 salary, $894,000 cap hit in 2014-15

Regular season stats: 82 games, 23 goals, 29 assists, 52 points, +7, 17:15 ATOI

Playoff stats: 23 games, 8 goals, 3 assists, 11 points, +5, 20:16 ATOI

Analysis: Let the Pittsburgh Penguins throw an offer sheet at Saad. Bowman is going to pony up for the budding star, no matter the cost. Thankfully, Saad has indicated he’d be willing to take a slight pay cut to stick around in Chicago. It may be necessary, as the kid has earned way more than his current salary with his amazing playmaking and speed, as well as his Marian Hossa-like defense and puck pursuit. We all like to talk about keeping Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews with the ’Hawks forever, but this is another guy who falls in that category. The first step is to get him a healthy deal for the next three to five seasons.

Will he be back: Definitely staying

Antoine Vermette

Unrestricted; $3.375 salary, $3.375 cap hit in 2014-15

Regular season stats: 19 games, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, -2, 14:04 ATOI

Playoff stats: 20 games, 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points, +5, 13:08 ATOI

Analysis: Of course it would be nice to have Vermette back, but it’s just not realistic. Even nearing age 33, he commands a dollar amount the ’Hawks likely can’t afford with guys like Saad and Kruger still to be signed. Could the ’Hawks get lucky and snag him at a Richards-like deal? Perhaps, but even that might be too much, considering the ’Hawks are at about $64 million with the cap for 2015-16, and the cap is projected to hit just $71 million. We should appreciate Vermette’s contributions to Chicago but not expect him back for another go-round.

Will he be back: No chance

Kyle Cumiskey

Unrestricted; $600,000 salary, $600,000 cap hit in 2014-15

Regular season stats: 7 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -1, 13:18 ATOI

Playoff stats: 9 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -3, 9:28 ATOI

Analysis: We jump to the defensmen and start with a guy who was in Rockford for most of the season. There doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to keep Cumiskey around considering the younger, better players behind him at the blue line, and Cumiskey’s lack of activity in his limited ’Hawks’ action. Bowman could bring Cumiskey back to push those guys during training camp, but it seems unlikely.

Will he be back: Little chance

Next: Sharps Last Days

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