Free Agency Targets
With all of this mind, what can the Blackhawks do to try and reshape this roster? Well, it seems that a decent defensive free agent and a few more affordable forwards and defensemen will be what the ‘Hawks need to focus on.
Looking over the available free agents this summer, there are some very interesting names. But do not expect the ‘Hawks to be involved with the likes of John Tavares or John Carlson, who will both be out of the team’s price range.
Erik Gudbranson and Calvin De Haan would both be interesting defensive options, but at 26 years old each, they may also be demanding a contract the ‘Hawks cannot afford. Names like Thomas Hickey, Ian Cole, Andrej Sustr, John Moore, and Nick Holden are more along the lines of a player the team could try and add.
As far as forwards, the ‘Hawks will likely be out once again on the bigger names (even including players like Evander Kane and James van Riemsdyk), but maybe could look at adding a player like Patrick Maroon, Thomas Vanek, or Michael Grabner.
In all likelihood, the Blackhawks will want to make sure the adds in free agency are contracts that are short term. They will not want to add a player to a four or five year deal as they need flexibility on their roster with the bigger deals they have tied up. This will only hurt their chances even more of adding certain free agents.
None of these options jump right off the page as amazing adds that will take a non playoff team back to a championship contender, but (even with a little more salary cap room) it is just not in the cards for the ‘Hawks to add a premier player in the offseason. They will need to re-tool the best they can and hope for stronger play from their veterans and youth players.