Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: Analyzing Four Forward Options

By Colin Likas
Feb 4, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Coyotes left wing Mikkel Boedker (89) breaks his stick on a shot attempt against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 4, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Coyotes left wing Mikkel Boedker (89) breaks his stick on a shot attempt against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 4, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Coyotes left wing Mikkel Boedker (89) controls the puck against Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) during the second period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Mikkel Boedker, Arizona Coyotes LW

2015-16 stats: 56 games, 13 goals, 24 assists, minus-26 rating, 18:48 ATOI

Cap hit: $3.75 million

Contract status: Unrestricted free agent after 2015-16 season

The idea of bringing Boedker in is somewhat similar to that of bringing in Ladd. Boedker is a bigger guy (6-0, 211) who is a capable scorer, and you know he’d benefit playing alongside Toews and Hossa and would be able to set up space for them while also finishing plays. He’d be even easier to fit under the cap for the Blackhawks, as his cap hit is less than the space the Blackhawks currently have. Boedker is also four years younger than Ladd at a shade over 26, and he’d probably also be a straight rental, as he’s due a raise next season. His Corsi-for sits over 57 percent, though he gets primarily offensive-zone starts.

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There’s a major difference between the Boedker and Ladd situations though. The Jets are pretty well out of the playoff hunt at this point and will almost definitely be selling come deadline time. The Coyotes, on the other hand, play in an abysmal Pacific Division, and that’ll keep them in the playoff hunt until who knows when. Does that mean they shouldn’t be sellers? No. The Coyotes are not a good team, as currently constructed. But does that mean they might avoid selling? Perhaps, and that’d all but kill a Boedker deal, barring a sweet offer from Bowman.

And, again, that’s the nasty part of this, because Boedker would be a pure rental. The price wouldn’t be as high for Boedker as it would be for Ladd, who is working on his eighth consecutive season with 15 or more goals. Boedker has scored more than 15 goals just once in his NHL career, and while he’s played alongside some lesser teammates than Ladd has, it’ll still be a knock at the negotiating table. Ladd is also a team captain and two-time Cup champion (he also won in Carolina in 2006), while Boedker is neither of those things.

Still, he’s a key piece of the Coyotes’ future, so I imagine they’d want a high draft pick and an NHL-ready prospect, at worst. And that’s already saying a lot for a straight rental. But Boedker seems like the runner-up right now if Bowman is dead set on acquiring a top-line left wing and whiffs on Ladd.

Percent chance of Boedker coming to Chicago: 50 percent

Next: Loui Eriksson

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