Trade Olli Maatta
The Olli Maatta trade looked great on paper, but it just didn’t work out. He’s worth $4,083,333 and that can be spent in free agency on adding depth to their forwards. Right now, we’ve assumed the Blackhawks have either signed another goalie for $3,000,000 (Crawford, Markstrom, or Condon), or they haven’t, giving them $3,877,915 left in cap space.
Trading Maatta for a second or third-round draft pick gets $4,083,333 off of the books and gives them $7,961,248 to spend if Chicago didn’t sign a goalie or $4,961,248 to spend if they did. With $7,961,248, Chicago could sign two goalies. My top two picks would be Jacob Markstrom and Matt Murray. What a 1-2 punch that would be for the ‘Hawks!
Even if they just get one of those two, they’re set in net. They’d have Delia back them up, spending just $3,000,000 on a goalie, leaving $4,961,248 to spend to add a depth forward to the lineup.
Forwards to look at are Tyler Toffoli, Evgeni Dadonov, or Vladislav Namestnikov. One of those guys should be on the market, which they’re all worth around $4,000,000. Getting one of those players leaves Chicago with $961,248 left to spend, which they probably won’t get a chance to unless they’re spending it on a two-way contract player who will see time in Rockford and Chicago.
The options are there for the Blackhawks to make moves. Trading Maatta gives the team room to play their younger defensemen, which hopefully, they pan out and play well. If they give up solid players to open up cap space and it backfires, they’ll look stupid.