8 players who should not be back with the Chicago Blackhawks next season

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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Tyler Johnson

The veteran is an unrestricted free agent. The Hawks have younger options at center in Bedard and Frank Nazar along with less expensive cap hits in Jason Dickinson and Andres Athanasiou under contract. Plus, Johnson is a two-time Stanley Cup winner that you know a contender will be interested in adding.

Also, Johnson made it clear at his year-end press conference that he wants to be on a winning team.

Johnson showed he can still be productive with 17 goals and 14 assists this season so he should not see too much of a decrease in a cap hit. It is better to let him walk in that instance and keep the cap flexibility.

Colin Blackwell

Blackwell missed the first two and half months of the season as he recovered from an injury that cut short his 2022-23 season. He was solid when he on the ice. Blackwell skated hard and played like every shift was his last.

It would be nice to have him back, but he got hurt again towards the end of the season. Blackwell is set to be an unrestricted free agent and would love to return.

The Blackhawks can replace him with younger and more talented players like Landon Slaggert and Cole Guttman. The other issue the team wants to avoid is having players on one or two-year deals. That is the best deal for the Hawks to have him on. Of the eight players on this list, he probably has the best shot to return.

Mackenzie Entwistle

Entwistle was the last tie the Hawks had left to Marian Hossa as he came to Chicago as part of the deal with the Arizona Coyotes to take on Hossa's deal. Mackenzie became a decent fourth-line player.

Again, the Hawks have plenty of options in their system to replace him instead of tendering him an offer.

Reese Johnson

Johnson is in the same boat as Entwistle. The guy has grit, but he was also a candidate on most nights to be a healthy scratch.