Trade rumors swirled around the Chicago Blackhawks throughout the offseason, and there’s every reason to believe they’ll be a team to watch in the draft tonight and tomorrow.
The journalist out mail media Bruce Garrioch reports that Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson is open to discussing all the players on his roster as he prepares for a rebuild.
Garrioch notes that the case of Alex DeBrincat, who scored 41 goals and 78 points in 78 games last season, a career high, continues to fuel discussions. The 24-year-old will earn a salary of $6.4 million next season before becoming a restricted free agent again in 2023 and possibly a full free agent in 2024.
Garrioch also reports that Seth Jones needs to be watched, even though the Blackhawks offered an eight-year, $76 million extension just a year ago.
The Blackhawks traded their first-round pick this year (#6) for Jones as part of the July deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Jones’ contract extension comes into effect next season. The 27-year-old will have an average annual salary of $9.5 million through 2029-30. He had 5 goals and 51 points in 78 games in his freshman season at Chicago. He finished the campaign with a minus 37 difference, the worst of his career.
Finally, Garrioch says the Blackhawks are looking for trade center Dylan Strome, though he may not receive a qualified offer from the team if a trade doesn’t go through.
Strome, 25, scored 22 goals and had 48 points in 69 games last year while earning $3 million.
Jack Campbell with the Oilers?
The Edmonton Oilers, who could be looking for two new goalies this summer as Mike Smith risks finding himself on the long-term injured list, appear to have Jack Campbell in their sights.
TSN reporter Ryan Rishaug believes the Oilers have made the Toronto Maple Leafs goalie their No. 1 target when the free-agent market opens July 13.
The 30-year-old keeper was 31-9-6 with a .914 save rate and a 2.64 clean sheet average last season, the first in which he played more than 31 games.
Campbell also started in all of his team’s seven playoff games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, posting an .897 save percentage and a 3.15 clean sheet average. He just wrapped up a two-year, $3.3 million deal signed with the Los Angeles Kings in 2019 before being traded to Toronto.
Though general manager Ken Holland has expressed the team’s interest in keeping Evander Kane, Rishaug expects the winger to test the free-agent market next week.
Kane, 30, has 22 goals and 39 points in 43 games for the Oilers this season. He added 13 goals and 17 points in 15 playoff games and helped Edmonton reach the Western Conference Finals.
He joined the Oilers in January on a one-year, $2.1 million contract after his seven-year contract with the San Jose Sharks was terminated by the team.
A 2e Lucky for Petr Mrazek?
While speculation has made Petr Mrazek a possible candidate for a swap or contract buyout, the Toronto Maple Leafs appear poised to give the goaltender a second chance.
Mrazek was limited to 20 games last season due to various injuries. He recorded a savings rate of .888 and an average of 3.34 clean sheets in the first season of a three-year, $11.4 million contract with an average annual salary of $3.8 million.
Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said Wednesday he’s ready to bank on Mrazek’s strong comeback next season.
“I’m very happy with Petr’s performance in the off-season. He was very responsive and very communicative with our staff. When I’m making predictions and betting on him, am I betting he’s the keeper he was in the 20 games he played last year or I’m betting he’s the keeper he was in the last 270 Playing was when he had a save of .910 percent and gave his team a chance to win? I would probably bet on the larger sample. Here we are with Petr. »
With Campbell appearing to be entering the free-agent market, Mrazek and Erik Kallgren are currently the Leafs’ top options online for next season.
If the Maple Leafs, who have $6.44 million in margin under the salary cap, bought out Mrazek’s contract, they would have an additional $2.76 million in margin next season and nearly $3 million the following year U.S. dollar. However, the team would then be billed for a fee of $1.43 million for each of the next two years.
The Maple Leafs are already out of a cap berth and have three restricted free agents to sign: Rasmus Sandin, Pierre Engvall and Ondrej Kase. When asked if he was worried about Sandin receiving a hostile offer, Dubas replied that he hoped it would come quickly so the team could adjust their plans for the season.
“If there’s an offer, the sooner the better, so we can make our decision and move on,” Dubas said.