Colin Blackwell Keeps Making A Case To The Chicago Blackhawks To Return Next Season

He had a career night against the Arizona Coyotes.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Thankfully the Chicago Blackhawks did not trade Colin Blackwell before the NHL Trade Deadline otherwise the Hawks probably would have not beaten the Coyotes on Sunday night.

Sure, Connor Bedard was stellar as the phenom had two goals and an assist. It was Blackwell's hat trick that stole the show.

That game looked like it was going to be the Coyotes getting the victory as Clayton Keller scored his second goal 11 seconds into the second period to put Arizona up 2-0. Bedard's 18th goal of the season cut that lead in half and Blackwell's first goal of the game tied it at two a few minutes later.

Bedard put the Hawks ahead with his second goal of the game and after the Coyotes tied the game up at three a piece, Bedard's assist to Tyler Johnson put the Hawks back ahead late in the second.

Everyone was on the lookout for Bedard's first career hat trick. Blackwell joined him in that watch as he padded the Hawks lead with his second goal of the game 33 seconds into the final period.

The hats came onto the ice later in the game when Blackwell scored an empty netter. Blackwell now has eight goals on the season and is four away from tying a career-high.

This game is another case that Blackwell has made to get another contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Blackwell has lobbied to stay beyond this season after his contract expires.

The line of Blackwell, Dickinson, and Joey Anderson has been productive recently.

While the Blackhawks have plenty of exciting prospects at forward, some of them may not be ready for a couple of seasons. That is why it cannot hurt to give Blackwell a two-year bridge deal until some of these prospects are ready. That is what the Hawks gave Nick Foligno and Dickinson although Blackwell should not be given a cap hit over $4 million.

Blackwell overcame an awful injury that kept him out for most of 2023. Before the injury, he was struggling. Since returning, he has skated hard and has produced offense when called upon.

The Hawks could use someone like Blackwell in the locker room for a few more seasons especially since the team will probably get younger as more and more of the young prospects come up. They need someone to guide them and Blackwell's effort he puts every night is exactly the kind of player to set a standard as those young prospects walk the NHL trail.

Reese Johnson, Mackenzie Entwistle, and Zachary Sanford are all younger, but Johnson and Entwistle are due for a raise in restricted free agency. The way they have been playing, getting non-tendered is an option. Sanford has already been waived by the Arizona Coyotes and is more of an organizational depth piece.

Lukas Reichel and Cole Guttman are in Rockford and could potentially replace Blackwell, but both have been very inconsistent in their time in the NHL.

Adding Blackwell to a veteran leadership/production group of Foligno, Dickinson, Seth Jones, Connor Murphy, and Petr Mrazek makes too much sense. The six players can help head coach Luke Richardson establish the work ethic he wants out of the team and teach these youngsters the right way to play. However, bringing back Blackwell needs to be at a price that is not an overpay.