So no Stanley Cup Final or NBA Finals on Sunday? What a weekend, eh? We have to wait until Wednesday for the Avalanche and Lightning to get back on the ice, so buckle in for a few days of… waiting. With that being said
- Over the weekend, Ben Pope at the Chicago Sun-Times wrote about Mike Doneghey, the Blackhawks’ new amateur scouting director. He’ll be in charge of the Hawks’ draft this year, and isn’t discouraged by the lack of a first-round pick (for now). Here’s one quote that stood out: “
“[When] you look at a team like Carolina, three of their best players — Sebastian Aho, Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin — were second-, third- and fourth-round picks,” Doneghey said this week. “So the players are there. You just have to [find them]. My advice to the guys is, ‘Let’s buckle down and not leave any stone unturned.’ Because there are players historically that come out of that portion of the draft and make an impact for your team.”
- The Blackhawks also shared a video of Doneghey at the NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo recently. This video, partnered with Pope’s story, give you some nice insight into the guy calling the shots for the new front office heading into the 2022 NHL Draft.
- Over the weekend on SportsNet, Elliotte Freidman noted that the Edmonton Oilers have asked goaltender Mike Smith and defenseman Duncan Keith to let them know their individual plans for next season by July 1, with retirement as an option for both players. You can watch the abbreviated “32 Thoughts” video here.
- Keith retiring would be a bad scenario for the Blackhawks because of the cap recapture penalty attached to his contract. The Hawks would be hit with a $5.5 million cap hit in 2022-23 and an additional $2 million hit n 2023-24 from the recapture penalty if Keith retires before the natural end of his contract; he has one seson remaining. The Oilers, on the other hand, would receive a cap benefit from Keith retiring early, so there are two organizations carefully watching for Keith’s decision.
- Speaking of making money disappear, Frank Seravelli at The Daily Faceoff looked ahead to the July 1 deadline for NHL teams to buy out players’ contracts. In his list of ten potential buyout candidates, Chicago forward Tyler Johnson made the list. In his notes about Johnson, Seravelli also notes the Blackhawks could consider buying out forward Brett Connolly as well.
- What would a buyout of Johnson mean to the Hawks’ cap reality? Johnson would have the following cap hits if the Blackhawks bought him out this summer: $2.7 million (2022-23), $1.7 million (2023-24), $1.4 million (2024-25), and $1.4 million (2025-26).
- Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson has said he places high value on cap space. So why would a buyout of Johnson make sense? He has two more years at a $5 million cap hit. So the Blackhawks would save $2.3 million and $3.3 million in cap space in each of the next two seasons, respectively, with a buyout. But they would add the $1.4 million cap hit in the subsequent two seasons, at which point the cap will have started moving up (rapidly, we hope) because of the new television deals and other new revenues for the NHL.
- Speaking of rebuild issues, Frank the Tank might become eligible as a pitcher on your fantasy team soon.