3 players the Blackhawks can steal from the Avalanche in NHL free agency

The Blackhawks won’t need to spend much in NHL free agency and still land quality players, with the Avalanche having quite a few to offer.
Mar 4, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Tyler Johnson (90) attempts to score
Mar 4, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Tyler Johnson (90) attempts to score / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Blackhawks have a few division rivals who made the playoffs this season, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try and sign one (or more) players with postseason experience. One team, the Colorado Avalanche, loaded up their lineup during the trade deadline on players who had less than a year to go on their respective deals, so they have quite a few potential rentals that may test the free agent market in one way or another. 

The players listed below have all proven they can be effective NHLers, and they all have a lot of hockey to play. One particular player, Brandom Duhaime, is someone we discussed previously, so he’s one player the Blackhawks should look hard into signing who won’t be listed. 

While Duhaime would make an impact if he signed with the Hawks and they inserted him on their lower lines, the following two forwards and one defenseman factor in as even greater players. 

Casey Mittelstadt, F

While Casey Mittelstadt will be a restricted free agent and is likely heading back to Denver, there is always the outside chance he doesn’t sign a new deal with the Avalanche and/or would be eligible to go elsewhere if he signs an offer sheet (which would require compensation that the Blackhawks have) or if negotiations break down via arbitration. So, Mittelstadt deserves to be on this list despite his RFA status, thanks to how well he’s played over the past two seasons. 

Following his epic 2022-23 outing when he finished the year with 59 points with the Buffalo Sabres, Mittelstadt ended the 2023-24 regular season with another 57, and he notched a career-high 18 goals. 

He’s also been beyond epic during the NHL playoffs, with two goals and eight points through nine games, and that means the Avalanche will likely give him a well-deserved contract extension.