A Summary of the Chicago Blackhawks' Offseason Moves

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A Summary of the Chicago Blackhawks' Offseason Moves
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Curious about what the Chicago Blackhawks have done so far since winning the Stanley Cup last month? Wondering what the variety of moves the Hawks have made during this period means to the future of the team? Take a look below to find out.

The following is a list of moves that the Blackhawks have made during this offseason to date. 

They are listed in trade or acquisition groupings.

 

Trade to Atlanta (RW Dustin Byfuglein, LW Ben Eager, D Brent Sopel, RW Akim Alu for C Marty Reasoner, LW Jeremy Morin and a First Round Draft Pick (2010))

The Blackhawks made their first big move of the offseason by trading Byfuglein, Eager and Sopel, along with prospect Alu to the Atlanta Thrashers for some additional talent that could be developed at some point later on down the road.

The move allowed the Hawks to open up some much needed cap space to ensure that they wouldn’t go over the salary cap and still have room to sign some of their key players. They managed to make this trade at the right time with the stock of those three players (Byfuglien, Eager and Sopel) high after helping the Hawks win the Stanley Cup. 

Did these moves make sense? Yes. 

Will they affect the Blackhawks next season? Of course. 

Chicago lost three of its players including one that made a big difference for them in the Stanley Cup finals (Byfuglein). They will be able to replace these guys though and continue on winning.

 

Trade to Edmonton (Traded C Colin Fraser for a Sixth Round Pick in the 2010 NHL Draft)

Perhaps the Blackhawks didn’t get enough for this trade but in the end, they unloaded some additional money by moving Fraser to the Oilers. This was a solid cap saving move that netted the Hawks an extra pick in the draft.

 

Trade to Toronto (Traded RW Kris Versteeg and LW Bill Sweatt to Toronto for LW Viktor Stalbert, C Christopher DiDomenico, and C Philippe Paradis)

The Blackhawks got a lot for Versteeg for the most part and have some players that they could develop in the minors or have brought up to have on the team next season. 

With the trade, once again, Chicago opened up some cap space so that they could sign some of their more critical players, their restricted free agents. This trade, overall, was a pretty good one for the Hawks.

 

Trade to Atlanta (LW Andrew Ladd to Atlanta for D Ivan Vishnevskiy)

Clearing cap space remained the name of the game for general manager Stan Bowman as he sent Ladd in a trade to the Thrashers (their second trade of the offseason to Atlanta) and gained a prospect in return. 

One thing that we notice with all these trades is that the Hawks are stacking their cupboard with some talent that they can use to develop or insert into the lineup when the season starts, helping them get over the losses that they have suffered so far this offseason.

 

Players that the Blackhawks Have Signed So Far This Offseason (From Other Teams)

Defenseman John Scott signed a two-year deal with Chicago. Scott previously played for the Minnesota Wild and has been pretty productive. One great thing about Scott is his size.  At 6’8” he has the size to gain position and force his way in to make a play. He just might be able to get into the Blackhawks lineup next season and play well.

Two other players that the Hawks have signed this offseason include centers Marcus Kruger and Mathis Olimb and right winger Ben Smith. Krueger was a fifth round pick for the Blackhawks in the 2009 draft and will get a chance to make the team this offseason.  Olimb was signed to a one-year deal after having played in the Swedish Elite League and figures to get a shot at sticking with the team in 2010.

Smith, signed to a two-year contract, played at Boston College this past season where his team managed to win the NCAA Hockey Championship. Smith, originally a draft choice in the 2008 NHL Draft, is yet another player that the Blackhawks will have in queue to help them overcome their losses and keep the team on the path to winning another Stanley Cup. 

Right winger Adam Burish left the Blackhawks for the Dallas Stars signing a two-year deal with that club. Other players (not on the active roster) that have departed so far this offseason include RW Joey Crabb who has signed with the Maple Leafs and defensemen Richard Petiot who has went on to play for the Edmonton Oilers. The Blackhawks have relinquished rights to center Tony Lagerstrom and defensemen Teigan Zahn.

 

Free Agents

So far, none of the restricted free agents that the Blackhawks had going into the offseason have signed. The two biggest RFA’s that remained unsigned as of this writing are goalie Antti Niemi and defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson. Niemi has filed for arbitration but nothing much has been said about what is going with Hjalmarsson. We will have to wait and see what happens here.

The list of restricted free agents that the Blackhawks currently have in their minor league systems includes LW Bryan Bickell, C Evan Bropehy, RW Jack Skille, C Nathan Davis and C Hannu Toivonen. 

The list of unrestricted free agents (those who can sign with any team) includes defenseman Nick Boynton, defenseman Kim Johnsson, C John Madden, and defenseman Jordan Hendry. 

The players that are currently a part of the Blackhawks minor league system include defensemen Jassen Cullimore, C Mark Cullen, RW Danny Bois, LW Adam Hobson, defensemen J.C. Sawyer, LW Peter MacArthur, defenseman Mike Brennan, LW Kyle Greentree and defenseman Danny Richmond. To date, none of these players have been signed.

Stay tuned for additional discussion on the Blackhawks draft picks as well as a full free agency update.

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