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Analysis

Blackhawks Business: Reviewing RFA Decisions

Joseph Felicelli
Chicago Blackhawks, Brandon Hagel #38 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Chicago Blackhawks, Brandon Hagel #38 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks, Alexander Nylander
Chicago Blackhawks, Alexander Nylander Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Qualified:

Brandon Hagel ($874,125), Category 10.2(c)

Hagel is going to be a fixture on this roster for the next few years. His combination of hustle, skill, and determination is an example to any young player that enters the ‘Hawks organization. As a 10.2(c) RFA, Hagel can’t receive an offer sheet from another team. The Hawks would be wise to sign him to a 3 year contract for $1.2-$1.5M per season.

Alexander Nylander ($874,125), Category 10.2(c)

Coming off injury, it is likely the ‘Hawks could have re-signed him, even without a qualifying offer. Possessing high-end offensive skill, but maddening inconsistency, he is one of the most frustrating players on the roster. As a 10.2(c) RFA, Nylander is ineligible to receive an offer sheet from another team.

Nikita Zadorov ($3,200,000, pending arbitration)

Zadorov was left exposed in the Expansion Draft, and reports were that the ‘Hawks were attempting to trade him. Because of his contract value, I did not expect him to be qualified, but the Blackhawks are either 1) keeping him for 2021-22, or 2) attempting to trade him under a qualifying offer rather than just trading negotiating rights. As an arbitration-eligible player, he still might not have a lot of value. I believe they would have to include him in a package deal (perhaps for a goalie?)

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