Not everyone from last season’s roster will be back this year for the Chicago Blackhawks. This means some of the different fan favorites and talented players that have been on the team for years will not be in the team’s uniform in 2021-22.
Change happens during the offseason, for a team that has not been that great since winning their last championship in 2015, the Blackhawks have made some changes the past few seasons. While there are some players on the roster with experience in winning it all, only two remain from the championships of the early 2010s.
Chicago added a number of players this offseason, from Seth Jones to Tyler Johnson. All the additions meant the team had to say goodbye to some players as well, and let’s mention a few names that are not with the team anymore:
Keith wanted to be closer to his son, so the Blackhawks traded him to the Edmonton Oilers. In return, they got Caleb Jones, Seth Jones’ younger brother. If someone said even two years ago that Keith was not going to retire with the Hawks I would have been shocked, but when it makes sense for both parties a trade like this makes sense. Hopefully, Keith will have a good season in Edmonton, I know I will be cheering him on all year long.
Hinostroza had a brief reunion in Chicago last year after joining the team in a trade with the Florida Panthers. Hinostroza put up 12 points in 17 games in Chicago and then signed a contract with the Buffalo Sabres this offseason. While I think the Hawks would have liked to bring him back, they just have too many young forwards that they cannot ignore.
Losing David Kampf will be hard for the team defensively. He is one of the team’s best defensive forwards, and he is great in the faceoff dot. Who helps to carry the Blackhawks penalty kill will be different this season without Kampf. Toronto signed Kampf in free agency for two years at 1.5 million.
Pius Suter was the next Dominik Kubalik. A talented player coming to the NHL that was NHL ready and could fit into the top six. The only issue was the Hawks did not have the money to re-sign him with the other moves they made this offseason, so now Suter will be on the Detroit Red Wings.
Nikita Zadorov was the last big piece of the Artemi Panarin trade tree. Panarin for Saad for Zadorov is how that tree ended up growing, and now it is basically over with Chicago sending Zadorov to Calgary for a third-round pick. The Blackhawks are definitely better off with Zadorov at the cap hit that he did sign in Calgary. Chicago did not have 3.75 million to spare especially after bringing in Seth Jones, Jake McCabe, and re-signing Connor Murphy.
Because I was only mentioning five players that won’t be back we completely glossed over a couple of other critical parts of the team. Adam Boqvist who was traded during the offseason for Seth Jones will also not be back. Obviously, the reunion everyone will be looking forward to is Edmonton coming to Chicago for Duncan Keith’s return to the UC. But Boqvist coming back with a chip on his shoulder will definitely be fun to watch as well.