The Curious Case of the Blackhawks Rebuild- Unrestricted Free Agency

Montreal Canadiens v Chicago Blackhawks
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Re-sign Nick Foligno and Jason Dickinson

The question of free agency goes far beyond the goal situation. Chicago has $26.55 million in unrestricted free agent salary coming off the books at season's end. Of those coming off notably are Nick Foligno and Jason Dickinson. Those two should be retained for their leadership and ability on the ice. Salary is not an issue, so this should be a no-brainer.

Yes, it's likely that Dickinson could be flipped for a prospect or a draft pick, but the Hawks need leaders on the ice with the youngsters coming up. Dickinson has 16 points through 33 games, which isn't off the charts, but he has been consistent and plays a style that head coach Luke Richardson wants to play.

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Nick Foligno needs to be retained as well. He currently makes $4 million, but could likely be re-signed for less-- though it isn't necessary. Foligno is 36 years old and nearing the end of his career, but he can still play. And more importantly, he can lead.

This team needs a leader. Bedard, especially, needs someone to teach him to lead. If Davidson could sign Foligno and Dickinson for two years that would be ideal.

Trade or Let Walk- Tyler Johnson, Nikita Zaitsev, and Jared Tinordi

Tyler Johnson, Nikita Zaitsev, and Jared Tinordi have no business being on the Chicago Blackhawks next year. The three combine for a cap hit of $10.75 million.

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Of the three, Tyler Johnson may be able to be moved to a playoff team looking for some depth in their bottom six. He has playoff and Cup experience which could be enticing for a team. The return would be minimal, but worth it in the long run.

Zaitsev and Tinordi are struggling defensemen. There is no upside in keeping, but both would likely be hard to move. Zaitsev could potentially be moved at the deadline, but doubtful. The Hawks will most likely have to let them walk to make room for the youth movement.