Drake Caggiula might not be the best goal scorer on the Chicago Blackhawks but he finds a way to make an impact on the roster none the less. However, it is still up in the air on whether or not Caggiula will be back for next season.
The Chicago Blackhawks caught a break when they dumped Brandon Mannings contract no the Edmonton Oilers for a young winger like Drake Caggiula. He was the Andrew Shaw the team already had and so much more.
When I think of what Caggiula brings to the table I can not help but smile. He is an energetic winger who can play up and down the lineup, not because he does not fit anywhere, but rather because he finds a way to score no matter where he is at. If you ask me, he is what you want a winger to look like in the NHL.
The only knock against Caggiula is he takes some bad penalties and fights when he does not need to. I am not going to get into whether or not fighting belongs in the NHL, but if it means you might injury yourself and not be able to help your team in 20 or 30 games in a year than I do not think fighting is the best idea.
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Concussions are a dangerous thing, and I just hope we get Caggiula back sooner rather than later from his injury. With that side of his game behind us now we need to discuss whether or not he has a future with this team. On the ice of course Caggiula is a great player. However the money side of it is the only reason he might not be back next season, and that hurts to even think about.
The Blackhawks have players like Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik expecting pay raises, maybe Bowman just can not find a way to give Caggiula a pay raise from his current 1.5 million. In 66 games with the Blackhawks, Caggiula has 27 points and boasts the fact that the can play with some of our best players like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
When you factor in the types of players Caggiula has played with, and the success he has had with the puck with a Corsi percentage of 49% then I can see him asking for maybe 2 million for a few seasons. Honestly, he would be worth it at that price if he can find a way to stay healthy. The only real reason he might not get that much is the fact that he has missed time in both of the two years he has been in Chicago.
I would not like to see another young player leave the Blackhawks in free agency or during a trade because of the salary cap, especially a talented reliable player like Drake Caggiula. Would you give Caggiula 2 million to stick around in Chicago? Or do you think the team should opt for a bridge deal for a season, let us know!