Question 1: I’m not too concerned about the Blackhawks’ playoff chances for the 2017-18 season if they move a couple of core pieces this offseason. With reports that the cap is going to increase by a couple of million dollars for next season, it helps the Blackhawks’ case a lot.
They’re still probably going to have to trade a core player, but I don’t think it will impact them that much. My bet is that Alex DeBrincat makes the roster out of training camp, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Gustav Forsling is given an opportunity to perform in a bigger role.
The Blackhawks have made things work out in the past by bringing up the younger guys and just letting them play. I think they could definitely do it again this upcoming season.
Question 2: There have been talks about Seattle being the next spot for an NHL expansion team, and I love that idea. I think Seattle would be a great spot for an NHL team.
Seattle fans are crazy about the sports teams that are there. Seahawks games are always sold out, and the Sounders had the best attendance out of any MLS teams in the 2016 season. The Thunderbirds of the WHL have also done great there.
The city currently only has three pro sports teams, and I think a professional hockey team would thrive in a northern city like that. That would put 16 teams in the Western Conference, which would make everything even since there’s 16 teams in the Eastern Conference. It could also create a good rivalry with Vancouver, since the cities are only two and a half hours apart.