One pending free agent the Blackhawks can steal from their Central Division rivals this summer

The Chicago Blackhawks shouldn’t be too active in free agency this summer, but there is talent from the Central Division they can sign if they’re willing.

St Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks
St Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Alex Carrier, Defenseman/Nashville Predators

Alex Carrier is a pending unrestricted free agent for the mighty Nashville Predators, and there is a good chance he returns to one of the league’s more surprising teams. But if he tests the market this summer, the Blackhawks could take a blueliner heading into the prime of his career off of one of their biggest rivals. 

After making sporadic appearances since 2016-17, Carrier burst onto the scene in 2021-22, winning a top spot on the All-Rookie Team and finishing in 10th place for the Calder Trophy. When given top-four minutes, the 27-year-old will finish checks, skate into opposing scoring lanes, and break up would-be plays. 

While his scoring won’t wow anyone, he’s still good at helping to move the puck down the ice and closer to the crease when in the offensive zone. When on the ice at 5-on-5, his ability to pitch in offensively this season has led to 44 goals, a 9.1 on-ice shooting percentage, and for the first time in his career among playing in a full season, a Corsi For over 50 percent as of March 31st. 

If Nashville isn’t willing to give him a pay raise, the Blackhawks need to take a serious look at a player who will only be heading into his fourth full season next year.