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Blackhawks: 3 Potential free agents to consider in 2020

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Chicago Blackhawks
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins‘ current contract is $6,000,000 per season, the same as Taylor Hall. The problem is, Nugent-Hopkins is a better player than Hall. If he tests the market, he is going to want to be paid at least $7,000,000 per season.

That kind of money is tough for the Blackhawks, considering all of the young players they have, who will need contracts within the next few seasons. Taking star players in free agency would need to be on short-term deals, where the Blackhawks get a player for one or two years, opening up a short playoff window.

I think Nugent-Hopkins opens up a playoff window for the Blackhawks. Everything would have to fall in place before that though. Chicago would have to move Brent Seabrook for starters. To get rid of Seabrook, they’d have to be giving him away to a team. No one is going to give up a lot for a 35-year old veteran who is coming off of three surgeries. They’d have to expect little return on the trade.

By trading him opens up $6,875,000 to spend. That money could go towards Nugent-Hopkins. If they just swapped out Seabrook’s contract and gave it to Nugent-Hopkins, that would be a big win for the Blackhawks.

Signing Nugent-Hopkins for a two-year, $6,875,000 AAV contract opens up a playoff window for the Blackhawks. Signing him for two-years will save money for Kirby Dach and Adam Boqvist for when their contracts expire.

This is a lot to ask, but it’s very possible if they make the correct moves. The question is, who would take on Seabrook’s contract? Look no further than the New Jersey Devils. If the Blackhawks sent Seabrook, and a late-round draft choice to the Devils for a late-round draft choice, it could work for both teams.

Seabrook turns 35 this month, so unless he “retires” before the 20th, the Blackhawks will have his contract on the books until trading him or until 2023-24. Whichever comes first.

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