Either Calvin de Haan or Olli Maatta needs to be moved in the summer. Both players are overpaid, with de Haan not making an impact this season due to injury. Trading either one of those players would open up over $4,000,000.
There will be other players that are free agents this summer, totaling for $9,853,205 to be open on July 1st, 2020. Trading away de Haan or Maatta opens up cap space for more signings. The top free agents besides Strome and Kubalik are Corey Crawford and Drake Caggiula.
So, who should the Blackhawks re-sign?
Strome and Kubalik need to stay. Chicago getting rid of Robin Lehner at the trade deadline makes signing Crawford much-needed. Caggiula brings great depth to the team while being a cheap player.
Caggiula makes $1,500,000 per season. Even if he wants a raise, $2,000,000 isn’t too much to ask towards the salary cap. The team signing Michal Teply to his entry-level deal could be enough to let Caggiula go.
Trading either de Haan or Maatta, or even both gives money to keep the players that are apart of the future. Yes, de Haan and Maatta are young, but the Blackhawks have younger defensemen on the rise, who have a huge upside.
We’ll see what the front office decides to do with these key free agents, but hopefully, they’ll keep Strome and Kubalik for the time being. They’re both a key part of the future.