The Chicago Blackhawks announced contract extensions for Jordin Tootoo and Michal Rozsival. They are one year deals. Tootoo is going to make $650,000 while Rozy is going to make $750,000. Before everyone explodes with anger after the announcement of these moves, these moves are for the NHL expansion draft. Teams like the Blackhawks wants to protect their young assets they have nurtured and developed this season.
The Expansion Draft Implications
The rules are that a team must expose one defenseman who is under contract in 2017-18 and played 40 games that season or 70 games in the past two seasons.
A team must also expose two forwards who have played in 40 games that season or 70 games in the prior two years.
Rozsival is played 51 in 2015-16 and has played 16 in 2016-17. Tootoo also played in 66 games in 2015-16 and 36 this season. The moves were made to protect Ryan Hartman from the Expansion draft. Brian Hedger of the Athletic stated last month that the Blackhawks had to protect Hartman at all costs and Stan Bowman got his memo. Hartman currently has 15 goals and 11 assists for the season. The move might also help protect Trevor van Riemsdyk from the Expansion draft as well, if the Blackhawks can expose another defenseman.
Hedger also confirmed that if the Blackhawks waive both players after the expansion draft neither player counts against the cap.
So in short-both these guys will not be with the Blackhawks long term. Instead of waiving both Tootoo and Rozsival this season, they will waive them next year. Another interesting thought is that Tomas Jurco was also acquired to be exposed in the expansion draft. Jurco is scheduled to be an RFA next season and is not due for a big raise. Jurco has played in 61 games over the last two seasons which makes him close to be eligible for the draft. In my mind, he played 9 more games this season to meet the requirement. The Blackhawks also will expose Andrew Desjardins for the draft as well.
Everyone is over the Expansion draft
The beat writers like everyone else is over the Expansion draft and it has not even happened as of yet.