The Chicago Blackhawks have been in the news for a multitude of reasons in the past month and a half. Most of them bad, like the sexual assault, abuse, and harassment allegations and lawsuits levied against the team and former video coach Brad Aldrich. Some of them puzzling, like the trade rumors surrounding Duncan Keith. Even some being joyful, like Jonathan Toews announcing his return to the team.
Now, the Blackhawks are giving us some clarity when it comes to their offseason plans. The team has been linked to a ton of different trade and free agency scenarios, including Seth Jones, Dougie Hamilton, and Jack Eichel. Well, we can scratch one giant name off that list.
According to a report from Scott Powers of The Athletic, the Blackhawks will not be in the running to make a trade for Buffalo Sabres Captain Jack Eichel. Per Scott’s sources, the team can’t picture having three players (Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as well) making $10M per season on their roster.
“He’s a great player, but I don’t see how we can have three players make more than $10 million,” a source said. “I don’t think we can construct a roster that way.”
Previously, Eichel and the Blackhawks had been linked in a report by Larry Brooks of the New York Post. But, earlier this week, Brooks expanded on his reports of interest in Eichel by saying Buffalo wants the equivalent of four first-rounders in return for the former 2015 second-overall pick.
It makes sense to me that the Blackhawks would not want to potentially part ways with the equivalent of four first-round talents/picks. The Blackhawks are rebuilding and they need to keep as much of their valuable young talent and draft capital as possible.
That includes Kirby Dach.
In the same post from Powers, Chicago says that they have no interest in parting ways with the 2019 third-overall pick.
“We’d be filling one need and having to fill another,” a source said.
No argument here.
Dach jumped into the NHL in the 2019-20 season coming off of an injury in training camp, tallied eight goals and 23 points in 64 games with Chicago before the season was cut short due to COVID. When the season resumed in the Edmonton postseason bubble, Dach added six points in nine games and gave everyone a lot to look forward to this past season. Then he goes and breaks his wrist at the World Junior Championships and misses nearly 3/4 of the season. He returned, early, from his injury and played through pain to rack-up two goals and 10 points in 18 games.
Moral of the story, Dach hasn’t had the opportunity to have a full, normal, healthy NHL season yet as he heads into his third season. He’s shown flashes of the talent that made him the third-0verall pick two summers ago, and all signs point to him being able to put it all together in year three. If he can, the Blackhawks likely have their next top-forward to pair with a guy like Alex DeBrincat.
Another Toews and Kane-like combination? Time may tell.