The Chicago Blackhawks had to leave a handful of players unprotected during the expansion draft in July, same as every other team around the league. The only thing is, for the second time in a row, the expansion draft team gave up their selection from Chicago before game one of their season.
The Chicago Blackhawks lost Trevor van Riemsdyk and John Quenneville during the past two expansion drafts.
The Vegas Golden Knights selected van Riemsdyk from the Hawks during the expansion draft in 2017 and then flipped him to the Carolina Hurricanes for a second-round pick before the season began. There were a number of other players available, but van Riemsdyk did look like the obvious pick for the Knights, they then traded him away.
The Seattle Kraken had players like Nikita Zadorov and Vinnie Hinostroza available from the Hawks, as well as either Collin Delia or Malcolm Subban. They opted to take John Quenneville a surprising move at the time, but one I figured would feature him in the bottom six or as a healthy scratch most nights.
The thing is, they opted to not sign Quenneville to an extension so now he is looking to play overseas this season. No matter how improved the Blackhawks roster is, the expansion draft team did not see anyone on the roster that they wanted.
I guess it pays off to be going through a transition like this right now where the Blackhawks did not need to worry about losing anyone good, but it does hurt watching teams have an opportunity at taking a player and then basically passing on it as they don’t see any talent that can fit in with the roster.
Being a team like Tampa Bay that has so much talent that they were giving up someone of value and importance no matter what might pay off in this situation. As it shows how deep the lineup is there.
Teams have lost a lot of talented players during the expansion draft, the Florida Panthers lost Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith to the Vegas Golden Knights, yet their roster is still competitive.
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Expansion drafts are probably over around the NHL as the league now has 32 teams, but when people look back and see how little the Blackhawks had to offer during those two expansion drafts, either because of planning – having the right players protected and the right rookies under the limit to be exposed – or because of a lack of talent on the roster it will be a sour point of history for the team.