The Chicago Blackhawks will have to make some changes if they want to be a better team next season. However, that does not mean the team should go out shopping during free agency.
Stan Bowman has made it his personal goal in the past to make the Blackhawks a more competitive team each offseason. Obviously, this team is in a win-now mentality otherwise, we would be seeing Bowman and Colliton probably get shown the door for new faces of the organization.
During the last offseason, Bowman brought in a slew of players via free agency to make the team more competitive. Players like Robin Lehner and Ryan Carpenter were added last season through free agency. The list was even longer with players like Chris Kunitz, Brandon Manning, and Cam Ward the year before.
While I know that free agency can be a valuable tool to add some players that can provide some depth in your lineup as Ryan Carpenter can be for the team, I believe this is not the right move for the Blackhawks this offseason.
Chicago does not have the cap space to be messing around with free agents right now. The team does not have Dylan Strome, Dominik Kubalik, Drake Caggiula, Slater Koekkoek, or Corey Crawford under contract for next season.
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I would consider some of those players that the Blackhawks have in their locker room already more valuable than any player we could potentially add from free agency. Koekkoek has proved that he can be a valuable component to this team, and I really like what he brought to the defense. Bringing him back next season instead of offering a guy like Zdeno Chara a contract is a no brainer.
This is also true for the goalie position. Trying to offer a guy like Henrik Lundqvist a roster spot also does not make sense for the team moving forward. Right now, CapFriendly is predicting just about eight million in cap space for the Blackhawks during the 2020-21 season. While I am sure some free agents out there can make this Blackhawks team better, let’s hope the team focuses their resources and money in house before doing anything in the free-agent market.