Caleb Jones, Wyatt Kalynuk, and Alec Regula are all out with injuries, the Blackhawks needed to add another defenseman going into the season.
Adding Erik Gustafsson on a one-year deal worth just 800,000 is a good move in order to make sure the blue line has a little bit more depth for the first few weeks. The blue line consists of the following defensemen going into game one later today:
Seth Jones, Jake McCabe, Connor Murphy, Riley Stillman, Calvin de Haan, Ian Mitchell, and now Erik Gustafsson. Yes, the minute one of those players comes back from injury Gustafsson might be on waivers and off the team, but for the first week, they have a seventh defenseman to rely on.
Gustafsson is a familiar face to this team and was looking for an opportunity after not getting a contract with the New York Islanders, so it made sense for both parties to work something out for the beginning of the season.
While he probably won’t get into the first game tonight, maybe the team can give him an opportunity in game two or three of the season. Gustafsson is a great offensive defenseman, and while he might have some issues in his own end, as a bottom pairing guy the team can get away with it with all the different players they have.
With the Gustafsson addition, Stan Bowman brings back yet another former Hawk, and yes that is ridiculous to think that is another former Blackhawk added, it does make the most sense for the team right now.
The Blackhawks are not giving up anything adding Gustafsson, and after the players, out with injuries are ready to come back into the lineup, Gustafsson will be placed on waivers and hopefully claimed by another team.
I say hopefully claimed by another team because I hope he can stay in the NHL, as I do think Gustafsson is an NHL defenseman that might have some weaknesses, but can be a great addition to any power play.
"Staff Predictions for the Chicago Blackhawks 2021-22 season"
The Blackhawks season starts tonight in Colorado, this will be the first chance to see new comers on the blue line like Seth Jones and Jake McCabe.