Blackhawks: Simulating Five Years in the Future Using NHL 21
By Jimmy Lynch
2023-24 Season – (Year 4)
Offseason moves to begin the year:
No significant moves to begin the season, Chicago did have to let Duncan Keith walk in free agency because he was asking for money the team did not have at around four million a season.
This was the first year that Chicago did not start the season with players like Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews. Both were productive up until the end in Chicago but eventually found themselves on other teams.
Regular Season Record: 47-30-5
Playoff Finish: Stanley Cup Final
Stanley Cup Champion: Toronto Maple Leafs
Award Winners: None For Blackhawks
Point Leaders: Goals (Patrick Kane 29) Assists (Teuvo Teravainen 46) Points (Teravainen 71)
I think it is important to note the top contracts on the ‘Hawks team during year four. Ian Mitchell is making 13.7 million per season, Patrick Kane is making 10.05 million, while Adam Boqvist, Dylan Strome, and Alex DeBrincat are all making around 9 million per season.
Zachary L’Heureux (Chicago’s sixth overall pick in 2021) made a big jump to the NHL this season and was already apart of the team’s top six. His draft was the one year Chicago failed to make the playoffs which ended out working for the best because he was a great player during his first year putting up 11 goals and 51 points.
With some of the large contracts, this team has found finding depth for bottom-six players has been tough. The Blackhawks did not make any big moves at the deadline because their roster already featured a lot of players on one-year deals that wouldn’t be re-signed due to a lack of cap space.
The Blackhawks put up a run to the Stanley Cup Final but failed to win it all running into a hot Toronto Maple Leafs team that swept them. Beforehand Chicago beat Colorado, Anaheim, and Edmonton to make it to the Final. Kane led the team with 11 goals and 16 points through the postseason.
Chicago traded Kempny at the trade deadline to Winnipeg for a third-round draft pick
Noel Gunner 4 years at 1.5 million
Mario Ferraro (waiver pick up) 3 years at 1.3 million