Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks: Potential Free Agents to Watch Against Senators

By Samuel Boland
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 18: Ryan Dzingel #18 of the Ottawa Senators and Connor Murphy #5 of the Chicago Blackhawks watch for the puck in the first period at the United Center on February 18, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 18: Ryan Dzingel #18 of the Ottawa Senators and Connor Murphy #5 of the Chicago Blackhawks watch for the puck in the first period at the United Center on February 18, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks play the Ottawa Senators tonight at 7:30. The Senators have a lot of highly sought after pending free agents, so let’s dive into a few of them.

The Chicago Blackhawks will have a lot of money to spend this summer in free agency. Two of their top free agent targets, along with top targets for many teams in the NHL, are both pending UFAs for the Ottawa Senators.

Matt Duchene

Matt Duchene is a 28-year old center who can play LW currently making $6 million a year. He was with the Colorado Avalanche for the first eight seasons of his career before being traded to the Senators during the 2017-18 season. I believe it’s fair to assume that Duchene will sign anywhere but Ottawa this offseason.

This season, Duchene has only two less points (56) than Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (58). Between Duchene and all other Senators UFAs, Duchene is certainly the more attractive player.

He’s only had 3 seasons during his 10-year career in which he’s totaled less than 50 points. Still, in two of those years he tallied 41 and 43 points, respectively.

A 1-2-3 center combo of Toews, Dylan Strome and Duchene would be something special. The Chicago Blackhawks desperately need help scoring and Duchene aides that problem.

Duchene will wear no. 95 tonight.

Mark Stone

Mark Stone is a 26-year old right winger currently making $7.35 million a year. He might be a bit pricier than Duchene, but it would be worth it.

The Chicago Blackhawks have desperately missed the presence of an excellent two-way forward ever since Marian Hossa‘s career was cut short because of a skin condition. Though Stone isn’t the second coming of Hossa, his play mirrors Hossa’s in how much of a problem he is on either side of the puck.

Stone currently leads the Senators with 59 points in 58 games this season. For what it’s worth, Stone also has the second highest CF% with 52.5. That’d put him in second place for the Chicago Blackhawks of players who’ve played 50+ games this season. He has a career high 27 goals this season.

If I had to choose between the two, Stone seems like a no brainer as he’d be a huge addition to the Blackhawks top-9.

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Stone, no. 61, is one to keep your eyes on. He already was one goal tonight for the Senators.

Additionally, Ryan Dzingel is a 26-year old pending UFA this summer as well. Dzingel, no. 18, will be a cheaper buy than Stone and Duchene,

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