Blackhawks: What has happened so far this offseason
By Andrew Neave
The Chicago Blackhawks will have a busy offseason once the season either finishes or is voided. Now, I know it’s technically not the offseason, but there has been signing news.
Any offseason is important to make sure that you have a roster set up to achieve the ultimate goal of making it to the playoffs. This is where a GM makes their money, making sure that they give their coach the arson they need to succeed. The Chicago Blackhawks are no different.
Stan Bowman will be a very busy man indeed and will be tasked again with trying to get the Blackhawks were they truly belong… The Stanley Cup Playoffs!
Now, with everything that is going on, I can’t see this happening anytime soon, but improvements will need to be made at some point.
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There has been a good amount of action happening when it comes to signing players. I know it’s not the most exciting news, but there were contract extensions to Kevin Lankinen and Matthew Highmore.
Lankinen had a good season with the IceHogs and played well when Collin Delia suffered early on. When Delia improved as a player, that’s when Lankinen started to regress, though he was still the lone IceHogs’ player at the AHL all-star game.
Lankinen suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. He had a .909 save percentage in 21 games for the IceHogs
Now, Matthew Highmore isn’t a top-line guy, and probably won’t ever be. The team does need third and fourth line guys though. In 36 games Highmore had 6 points (2G 4A) which aren’t bad numbers for a fourth-line guy killing penalties. He comes cheap too, at $700,000 AAV. The team needs to pay other players, so his contract helps Chicago invest in more players.
Then comes the entry-level deals for Andrei Altybarmakyan, Evan Barratt, Michal Teply and the one I think people are most happy about, including myself was Ian Mitchell. This took longer than expected to be announced, but he’s now signed it and will be a key piece for the Blackhawks’ future.
Realistically, I feel that out of all the entry-level deals, I feel that Mitchell is the only one who will have a decent chance to make the roster for the 2020-21 NHL season. If the season continues, I think that the Blackhawks might even get Mitchell in the line up sooner than expected.
I’m sure as times goes on, more announcements about the Blackhawks will be made. That is how they’ll look to build on from last season.