There has been a growing trend in the NHL for teams that aren’t considered contenders. The Coyotes being the main example of teams that take on expensive contracts to add to their draft stock. The Blackhawks definitely have the money to follow in their footsteps, so in this article I’ll go over a couple possible candidates with bad contracts that the Blackhawks could acquire, while adding some much needed draft picks.
Flames forward Sean Monahan has been struggling to say the least. His lack of offensive output has been apparent and he has paid the price for it. During the last half of the year he was in the bottom 6, and fighting for playing time while practicing with the scratches. His $6.375M Cap Hit is something the Blackhawks can afford to take for the one year that’s remaining on his contract, while giving him an opportunity to redeem himself playing on a rebuilding team.
The Blackhawks could easily pick up a couple high to mid round picks from the Flames to take on the full contracts. If he pans out, it could become a huge steal. Obviously his next contract won’t be anywhere near his current one, but if he likes it In Chicago and the team thinks his play is sufficient enough, he could re-sign and become a trustworthy part of the teams bottom 6 during the rebuild.
With the Flames going into full championship mode, trading Monahan’s full contract with a 2nd and 3rd attached to it for a late round pick would help them clear up some money to acquire someone that will help them take the next step to winning a Stanley Cup.
Oilers forward Zack Kassian has found himself outside of the Oilers lineup many times this season. His role has always been a grinder, who brings a physical presence to every game he's involved in. He still has 2 years left on his contract that holds a $3.2M cap hit. Similar to the Flames, The Oilers are really close to going all in for a Stanley Cup, so moving Kassian with a couple mid round picks to free up some cap space is something that could benefit both the Oil, and the Blackhawks
Kassian would bring some grittiness to the Blackhawks lineup. Playing in the bottom 6 with some more offensive minded guys could help him turn into a depth offensive asset, and even turn into a player that becomes a net front presence on the powerplay.
Both of these players' full contracts could be acquired in exchange for a late draft pick. The Flames or Oilers could also toss in two mid round picks as a sweetener to taking on the full contract. Thus, helping add draft capital for the Blackhawks and clearing up cap space for the other teams.