The Chicago Blackhawks had to say goodbye to a handful of players when they started free agency on Wednesday. More so than in years past, I think the moves the team made shocked fans around the fanbase as some of these moves came out of nowhere.
The team added players like Jake McCabe, Jujhar Khaira, and Tyler Johnson. These guys are going to be making an impact on the roster one way or another next season, and it is going to be fun to watch.
In order to make additions to the roster, the Blackhawks had to say goodbye to some players.
Here are the four main players the Blackhawks said goodbye to on Wednesday:
Nikita Zadorov – traded to Calgary
Vinnie Hinostroza – signs contract with Buffalo
Pius Suter – signs contract with Detroit
David Kampf – signs contract with Toronto
Now, the amazing thing about letting go of Zadorov is that the team traded him before free agency began as Zadorov was given a qualifying offer. Chicago got a third-round draft pick as a return for Zadorov. Turning a player they were going to let walk in free agency into a third-round pick is not a bad move by Bowman.
Zadorov has not signed with the Flames yet, we will have to wait and see what his contract could potentially look like when all is said and done. Next up is Hinostroza. Hinostroza signed a one-year contract with the Sabres at a price of 1.05 million.
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Hinostroza was a fan favorite the instant he touched the ice after getting traded to Chicago. While he is a great NHL player, the team just did not have a spot for him on their roster. It wasn’t that the team couldn’t do the money on this extension, it was just that they couldn’t afford to give a spot to Hinostroza with some of the other names in the organization.
Pius Suter was expected to not come back after the team did not qualify him in the past few days. He is someone that I think was just asking for too much money and Chicago did not want to make a commitment to him.
Suter got 3.25 million for the next two seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. Obviously, with the different moves, the team did make they could not afford to give Suter 3.25 million, and they also were out of center positions for Suter to drawl in the lineup.
It will be interesting to see how Suter does in Detroit. He was someone that the Hawks would have wanted to see for another season before making a commitment long-term to him, as his play was not always consistent last season. Now the last player Chicago saw walk away was a little shocking.
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The Blackhawks also said goodbye to David Kampf. Kampf has been with the Blackhawks his entire career and was a similar player to Marcus Kruger in the sense that he was the perfect fourth-line center.
He has played in 235 NHL games all with the Blackhawks and most importantly he was the team’s top centermen faceoff speaking when Jonathan Toews missed the past season. Kampf ended up signing a two-year deal worth 1.5 million with the Toronto Maple Leafs, not a bad signing for the Leafs.
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I think Chicago’s decision to let Kampf walk boiled down to them having so many depth forwards that are capable of playing in the NHL now. They chose Gaudette as their center and now it will be interesting to see how the lineup shakes out in October.