Recapping the Blackhawks additions and subtractions this offseason

Chicago Blackhawks, Olli Maatta, Drake Cagguila Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Blackhawks, Olli Maatta, Drake Cagguila Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

On paper, a lot of the Blackhawks moves from this past season make sense to me. While obviously, it is not pleasant to see two members of the ‘Hawks championship years go, it is for the best when it allows the team to give new players an opportunity.

For a long time, we have talked about how the Blackhawks have just had too many defensemen in their organization. While that typically would not be an issue, it kept players like Ian Mitchell and Nicolas Beaudin from breaking into the league last season.

If Mitchell wanted to go pro last year and not go back to college, the Blackhawks would not have kept Adam Boqvist in the NHL. Instead, he would play in the AHL for a year or go back to London. They would not have supported two young defenders because of how full their defense was with bottom-pairing players. After this offseason, they have opened up some spots.

Say what you will about the Blackhawks plans to rebuild, but I noticed after just looking at the additions and subtractions from this roster that they are better off. Zadorov, Wallmark, and Janmark all bring a lot to the Blackhawks roster, and the ‘Hawks moves opened the door for new skaters to take on more prominent roles within this organization.

So as of now, here are the additions and subtractions to the Blackhawks roster, assuming the Blackhawks are done making deals.

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Brandon Saad

Dennis Gilbert

Corey Crawford

Drake Caggiula

Olli Maatta

Slater Koekkoek


Mattias Janmark

Lucas Wallmark

Nikita Zadorov

Brandon Pirri

Anton Lindholm

A few other additions could include Ian Mitchell and one of the Blackhawks’ three presumptive goalies for next season. While I think all Blackhawks fans are upset about Crawford not getting a contract for next year, I think everyone shares an excitement to see what these three goalies can do.

I do not think the goaltending battle is going to be over after one month. Instead, I believe all three of these guys could get opportunities throughout the year. Last season I wrote for the Arizona Coyotes FanSided site Howlin Hockey, and during that time, Arizona rolled with three goalies throughout the year.

While Arizona’s starter was Darcy Kuemper, and he was their best player, he got hurt a few times during the year. That meant the Coyotes had to turn to their backup Antti Raanta, and he was just as capable of getting the ‘Yotes a win. However, Raanta could not play every night while Kuemper was out on injury reserved, and the Coyotes had another great goalie in Adin Hill, who is only 24 years old and 6’ 6″.

I mention the Coyotes because they show just how important it is to have depth at the goaltending position. Even if Chicago goes out and adds a goalie in the future or decides to make Drew Commesso their starter in a few seasons, they will need other goalies in their organization. Having depth at the goaltending position won’t hurt the Blackhawks roster, and the 2021 season will allow Chicago to see which goaltenders are worth keeping around.

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Almost all of the subtractions by the team have someone to fill the hole. Drake Caggiula leaving allows Andrew Shaw and Mattias Janmark to refill a grinder type of role in Blackhawks’s bottom six. When it comes to Olli Maatta and Slater Koekkoek, Nikita Zadorov makes up for the loss by a lot. Zadorov has the potential to be a big piece of this Blackhawks defense for years to come.

Looking back on the ‘Hawks offseason thus far what do you think of the ‘Hawks additions and subtractions? While this is not a championship roster, Chicago is on the way to becoming one again.