Fansided
Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks Playing for a New Contract This Season

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 06: Chicago Blackhawks Center Dylan Strome (17) celebrates his goal with Chicago Blackhawks Left Wing Alex DeBrincat (12) and Chicago Blackhawks Right Wing Patrick Kane (88) during the third period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks on January 6, 2019, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 06: Chicago Blackhawks Center Dylan Strome (17) celebrates his goal with Chicago Blackhawks Left Wing Alex DeBrincat (12) and Chicago Blackhawks Right Wing Patrick Kane (88) during the third period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks on January 6, 2019, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 18: Erik Gustafsson #56 of the Chicago Blackhawks awaits a face-off against the Ottawa Senators at the United Center on February 18, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Senators 8-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 18: Erik Gustafsson #56 of the Chicago Blackhawks awaits a face-off against the Ottawa Senators at the United Center on February 18, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Senators 8-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Erik Gustafsson

Erik Gustafsson is a prime candidate to be traded, if this season does not go well. Gustafsson had the best season of his career last year, registering 60 points as a defenseman with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The last time a defenseman for the Blackhawks registered more than 60 points was when Duncan Keith put up 61 points in 2014.

Gustafsson, like a lot of other players on this list, needs to have a great season to get the contract he feels he deserves. Last season’s 60 point performance will likely be taken into consideration though.

The biggest thing when you hand out a contract at the NHL level is consistency, so Bowman and company need to figure out if last season was a fluke for Gustafsson or a building block for his future.

Of course with the rise of Adam Boqvist, there is little question in my mind that Erik Gustafsson does not really have a future with this Blackhawks team.

Gustafsson is not great defensively and often becomes a liability in the defensive zone. Boqvist can step into Gustafsson’s role on the power play and help provide scoring opportunities from the blue line.

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