Ever topical, the PuckBuddys crew takes a look at how their individual teams fared during the recent free agent frenzy. Today: Stanley Cup champions Blackhawks:
Everybody knew the Bolland trade was coming at some point or another. After an abysmal regular season followed by a meh postseason, it was only a matter of where, not if. Bolland was shipped off to Toronto to be their number two center because that certainly worked out so well playing between 2 elite forwards in Sharp and Kane, as opposed to whoever the hell he’ll get stuck playing with in Toronto. Anyway, the Hawks received the Leafs’ 2013 2nd and 4th round picks as well as their 2014 4th rounder; a pretty decent haul for selling low.
They also shipped off Michael Frolik to the Winnipeg Jets which eliminates any and all chances we’ll ever get to see another playoff penalty shot out of him. They received the Jets’ 3rd and 5th round picks for him. In their last draft day related move, they swapped a few picks with San Jose, sending the Frolik 5th rounder and the Bolland 4th rounder to move up a few spots in the 4th and land a 4th round pick in 2014.
The Blackhawks drafted what can essentially be labeled as Dave Bolland’s replacement with the 30th pick in the form of Ryan Hartman. Full round recap:
1. C Ryan Hartman
2. D Carl Dahlstrom
3. C John Hayden4. D Robin Norell, C Tyler Motte
5. C Luke Johnson (a Lincoln Stars alumnus!)
6. C/LW Anthony Louis
7. D Robin Press (Mr. Irrelevant)
If you look REALLY closely, you might be able to discern a pattern here. The Blackhawks philosophy this year was obviously to strengthen up their system up the middle (a big need for the NHL team) and on the back end. You can never have too much depth, especially on the blue line so this is a good thing. I’m not going to grade the draft because I couldn’t tell you enough about the prospects to make an educated statement on any of them. Besides, we’ll know how this draft really turned out for the Hawks in about 4 years.
The Blackhawks didn’t have many real pressing needs to be taken care of in regards to free agency. However, the needs they did have, they quickly addressed. Rozsival was brought back with a two year deal at around 2.2 million per, Handzus returned on a one year/$1 mildo deal, Leddy was reupped for 2 years at 2.7 per (RFA) and the Bulin Wall was brought back on a one year deal for whatever reason.
- I’m not overjoyed regarding the second year of the Rozsival contract, but it’s not a big deal, so to speak. He was a stud in the playoffs and it gives the young’uns in Rockford a bit of developmental leeway.
- Handzus on a one year paycut deal to play bottom 6 minutes (presumably) is a pretty decent deal, especially if he starts winning faceoffs again. His new biomechanical hand should help that. Center depth of any sort is good for this center-depraved team.
- Two years of Leddy with a $2.7 million cap hit is pretty damn good, if you ask me. My favorite part about the deal is that he’s still an RFA when his contract expires.
- Khabibulin. What. The. Fuck. It’s only a one year deal and the guy performs in contract years so there’s that, I guess. Also, he’s going to play like what, 20 games for the Hawks? He just doesn’t have to fuck too many of them up and he’ll have served his purpose.
- This isn’t Blackhawks related, but I’m so sorry, Leafs fans. So, so sorry.