2 Clear Up The Defense
The Chicago Blackhawks defense has a multitude of defensemen under contract for next season. Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Olli Maatta, Connor Murphy, and Calvin de Haan are all under contract for next season. This would have been a pretty good defensive group maybe 3 years ago when Seabrook and Keith were not as old and the other players were not past their first or second surgery.
The Blackhawks have five players under contract on their blue line next season, and they only have one spot available for some great young defensemen, Adam Boqvist, Ian Mitchell, Nicolas Beaudin, and Lucas Carlsson all deserve a shot in the NHL next season. Ian Mitchell did not sign with the Blackhawks to play in Rockford. That gives me the impression that the Blackhawks are going to be making some moves this offseason.
If I was Stan Bowman Olli Maatta and Calvin de Haan would be on the trading block for sure. While I would like to see Brent Seabrook traded, that is just not going to happen thanks to the contract the Blackhawks gave him. Connor Murphy has shown that he is a great defenseman that can play in a top shut down type of role. I would try and keep him around next year.
In an ideal world, Maatta and de Haan would be gone next season, clearing up some salary-cap space, and fixing the mistake Stan Bowman did when he brought them in and blocked some of our young guys from stepping into the team.
In an ideal world, the Blackhawks defense would consist of Duncan Keith, Adam Boqvist, Ian Mitchell, Connor Murphy, Lucan Carlsson, Nicolas Beaudin, and Brent Seabrook next season. I know that Beaudin and Carlsson might not be ready to step into that big of a role just yet, but playing them as a sixth or seventh defenseman to figure out their game and learn under Duncan Keith might help this team a year or two down the line.