3 free agents the Blackhawks can sign from the Bruins

The Chicago Blackhawks could look outside the organization to keep brewing a solid team around Connor Bedard, perhaps toward the Atlantic Division.
Oct 11, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard (98) tries to find
Oct 11, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard (98) tries to find / Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
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The Blackhawks haven’t won in a long time, so why not gear their offseason toward pending free agents currently on teams who know how to win. Few have been as consistent as the Boston Bruins, so why not check out who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer should they not re-sign in Boston and try to lure them to the Central Division?

Sure, it would make for a transition since the Blackhawks and Bruins couldn’t be further apart from one another in terms of where each team currently stands. But acquiring veterans from one of the NHL’s best teams will only help Chicago’s cause in the long run, even if they may not stay longer than a season or two. 

A few pending free agents in this slideshow won’t be mentioned since we already talked about them. You may recall a piece on Kevin Shattenkirk and Jake DeBrusk in the past. So, we won’t rehash the importance those two would bring to a team like Chicago. Instead, let’s talk about a trio of players whose experience and current roles would help the Blackhawks in 2024-25. 

Danton Heinen, F

If the Blackhawks don’t bring back Tyler Johnson or Colin Blackwell, someone like Danton Heinen makes for a proven one-to-two-year fixture in a place like the Windy City. 

Like many pending free agents we discussed in previous articles, Heinen is a journeyman, and 2023-24 marked his second stint with the Boston Bruins. He also hasn’t spent over two seasons in one city since his first run with the Bruins between 2016-17 and 2019-20, mainly seeing time in the middle-six. 

For the Blackhawks, he would likely revert between the top and middle-six in 2024-25 if they signed him or a similar talent, playing a rather defense-first game while also showing off some physical play. 

If the Blackhawks needed another body on the penalty kill, Heinen could also fill in, something he logged over 90 minutes of during the regular season. His overall advanced numbers - 92.4 on-ice save percentage, 52 to 37 on-ice goals for to on-ice goals against ratio won’t hold up for a team like the Blackhawks, but he also more than outplayed his xGF vs. xGA for the season. 

The latter is something he will likely continue in his next stop, whether he winds up back in Boston, signs with an organization like Chicago, or elsewhere.