(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The following are players that will be restricted free agents this summer, with the Blackhawks having first negotiating rights with them:
C Dave Bolland, 23
C Colin Fraser, 24
RW Kris Versteeg, 23
RW Troy Brouwer, 24
LW Ben Eager, 25
D Cam Barker, 23
Gs Anti Niemi, 26, & Corey Crawford. 24
Looking at a stat sheet there's just one name on this list that really jumps ott the page, and that's 2008-09 rookie scoring leader Versteeg. He established himself as a threat on the wing with a number of different lines this season and will likely reap the financial rewards for a great first full season.
In fact, the solid play of Versteeg is the first factor in Tallon making a decision on the future of Havlat. If the Hawks can look forward to a future with Versteeg playing a bigger scoring role (he scored 53 points this season), they could find a way to compensate for the potential loss of Havlat's 77 points.
There are a few other names on this list that will be huge considerations for Tallon and his checkbook this summer. Perhaps the most likely player in the organization to get a new contract would be Bolland, who is reportedly at the top of the list for almost every talent evaluator within the organization.
Bolland has become a solid center as the season progressed, playing largely on a line between Havlat and Andrew Ladd. While he scored 47 points, he is another legit scorer the braintrust may believe can make up for a loss of Havlat.
Considering both Bolland and Versteeg could play for a combined salary that's less than Havlat for the next four or five years, that's something that will undoubtedly come into play this summer.
Two other names on this list that the organization and fans should like to see around for a long time are Eager and Barker.
Barker was on the verge of becoming an urban legend in Chicago after being drafted third overall in 2004 behind Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin (and before teammate Ladd) before he developed into a solid blue liner this season.
Perhaps the influence of offensive-minded defender Brian Campbell played a role in Barker looking for his shot more later in the season, as Barker ended the regular season with 40 points.
Eager, meanwhile, has established himself as an elite fighter in the league. You can pull highlights of Eager fights off YouTube for days and never some away unimpressed. He totalled 161 pentaly minutes this season, nearly doubling the total of Adam Burish (93), who ranked second on the team.
What's overlooked is that, as this season progressed, Eager showed flashes of being a good skater who can handle the puck and put it on net effectively. Listed at 6'2 and 220 pounds, a summer of work on posting up in front of the net could triple his 15 points from this past season.
Finally, the obvious question marks in goal with Huet will lead to Niemi and Crawford both being around next season as insurance policies.