Top 5 best discount defensemen the Blackhawks can sign in NHL free agency

The Chicago Blackhawks most likely won’t attract any big-name defenseman during NHL free agency, thanks to their current rebuild.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages
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Troy Stecher could fill the bottom pairing for a year

Yep, there is one more journeyman to cover in this piece, as Troy Stecher will head into his ninth season next year. He’s one of those players who would make a solid consolation prize if Kyle Davidson needed a serviceable blueliner but all of the previously mentioned players head elsewhere. 

Also, like many of the defensemen listed, Stecher is yet another name fit for the third-pairing and one who will log a solid number of blocks and hits, between one and two per game. He’s another solid asset to place onto the penalty kill for a year, and despite the Arizona Coyotes, who he spent a good portion of 2023-24 with, decline, Stecher’s on-ice save percentage remained a solid 93.2 at 5-on-5, implying he can box out opponents and help keep the net clear.

His career Corsi For at 5-on-5 may be under 50 percent, but Stecher helped move the puck well in Arizona, considering his on-ice starting percentage in the defensive zone was 55.5. He’s by no means the flashiest name on the list, but Stecher has given any team he’s played for solid performances since his first full season in 2016-17.

Maybe if his current team, the Edmonton Oilers, win the Cup, he could be interested in helping a rebuilding franchise improve for the not-so-distant future. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference as of March 14th)