The Chicago Blackhawks have over a dozen pending restricted and unrestricted free agents to deal with this offseason. At least half of those players are likely to re-join the team, as long as their prices are right for both them and the Blackhawks. One player that has been polarizing this offseason (on whether or not the Blackhawks should bring him back) is defenseman Nikita Zadorov.
In a report on Thursday afternoon, The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers mentioned what they have heard from sources about Chicago’s plans this summer for their free agent strategy. In the report, they mentioned that a source has told them that Nikita Zadorov’s representation is seeking a five-year, $5.85M AAV deal.
*pause for laughter*
Yes, that is the report:
The source said Zadorov’s camp is seeking five years with a $5.85 million average annual value (AAV). That’s surely too rich for the Blackhawks, so it’ll be interesting to see where negotiations lead. Zadorov has arbitration rights, and the Blackhawks don’t want it to reach that point.
I’m not sure what planet Zadorov thinks he’s on, but on Earth and in this NHL, in this economy, NO ONE should be paying him $5.85M for five years for whatever it is he does well. Hit people?
I get that the negotiation process is a game of tug-o-war and eventually, most often, teams and players come to meet at a point in the middle. But you should start with a reasonable high-mark in the process. When you come to the table with a high-mark offer that would make the Blackhawks and likely most-to-all teams in the NHL walk away, you should be reconsidering your strategy.
I’ve said it pretty much all offseason, the Blackhawks can get someone who plays like Zadorov and could be just as effective as he was this season, maybe even more so, for a more affordable price. Much less than $5.85M per season.