Expansion Draft Protection Day, Former Blackhawks on the Move, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

“How’s everyone feeling out there tonight?! Yeah! I am not feeling good.”

That just about sums up where I am this morning in Texas.

Listen, I am 31-years-old and my body is no longer built to operate like it did when I was 21-years-old. I didn’t need a bachelor party in Texas to remind me of that, but here we are. What I am looking forward to is a nice afternoon floating down a lazy river, enjoying the sun…oh god, there’s definitely going to be drinks there too. More thoughts and prayers would be much appreciated.

As for hockey and the Blackhawks, we have reached July 17th, the deadline day for NHL teams to submit their Seattle Expansion Draft protection lists.

•   Teams will have until 5:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. CT to submit their protection lists to the league offices.

•   A reminder, teams can either choose to protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goalie -or- eight skaters and a goalie. The Blackhawks will likely go the 7-3-1 route. Team protection lists will be made public tomorrow.

•   With the Expansion Draft coming up on Wednesday, today is also the day the roster freeze goes into effect.

•   Basically, today could either be real quiet or very busy. I think we could all appreciate a little quiet today, or maybe that’s just me.

•   From Scott Powers of The Athletic, it appears that the Blackhawks will be waiting until after the Expansion Draft on Wednesday to be making any sort of moves.

•   Scott is also reporting that the Blackhawks and restricted free agent Nikita Zadorov have not made much progress in recent weeks on getting a new contract. We learned earlier this offseason that Zadorov was going to be asking for a near-$6M AAV deal, but the Blackhawks were never going to pay him that. If a deal does get done, Chicago will probably end up footing a $4M AAV deal for the defenseman.

•   I thought his $3.2M deal was too high last year for what he brings to the table, and I’m not alone. Within Powers’ latest is a tidbit from Evolving-Hockey, projecting Zadorov’s next deal based on their estimation of his value, to be a three-year, $$2.89M AAV contract. If that was the price-tag for Zadorov, I’d feel a little better about it.

•   With Seth Jones grabbing all the Blackhawks headlines recently, we don’t want to forget about his younger brother, who is actually on the team, Caleb Jones.

•   While the narrative around Caleb is that he is being used as a pawn to help Chicago land a deal for Seth Jones, Caleb has his own value on the ice to bring to the Blackhawks. The deal likely has more to do with that than it does with bringing Seth over.

•   Speaking of trades, yesterday a pair of former Blackhawks swapped teams.

•   Nick Leddy is headed to Detroit and Richard Panik (remember him?) is heading to the Islanders. At least Leddy will be allowed to grow a beard again.

•   The Seattle Expansion Draft is coming up on Wednesday and next weekend is the NHL Entry Draft. This is a time where teams are having intense scouting meetings and go over thousands and thousands of pages of data on these young players. Sometimes, stories like this come out this time of year.

•   A terrible decision that may have cost Mailloux a huge opportunity. Bigger than that, a decision that violated someone’s right to privacy.

•   I don’t know how to transition from that, but I’ll leave you with this:

•   Son of a…

•   That will do it for today. Enjoy your Saturday!

•   REMINDER: Be sure to send in your questions for Monday’s Mailbag segment! Use the hashtag #BNHawksMailbag on Twitter or send them to Mario.tirabassi at bleacher nation dot com.

written by

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.

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