Chicago Blackhawks: 3 keys to success for Calvin de Haan
Key 3: Be ready to play a support role
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where de Haan has a long term role with Chicago. Unfortunately, the veteran defenseman’s past with injuries is probably going to follow him for the rest of his career. He doesn’t have much time left on his current deal, and by 2022-2023, de Haan will be a UFA if he hasn’t already been traded. At that point, he’ll be over 30 and Chicago’s prospects should be ready to come up, or will have already started to fill roster spots.
All of this together means that de Haan has to be ready to play a supporting role, rather than lead the youngsters to greater heights. He’ll need to play just as well this year as he did last year, regardless of anything that is happening on the periphery because of the rebuild. It wouldn’t be surprising at all if de Haan is one of the players on the block for the expansion draft. Given that he may not be around much longer, whatever he can offer to his teammates would be greatly appreciated.
For all his abilities, de Haan is very expendable, and likely won’t be with the team for much longer. With the number of young defensemen trying to push their way up, and Chicago having two veteran players (Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook) with unmoveable contracts, de Haan’s days in Chicago are almost certainly numbered. He’s maybe not the most tradeable player on the team, but he might be someone other teams may come asking about near the trade deadline.