Happy ‘Murica Day, DeBrincat Trade Buzz, Looking Ahead to the Draft, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Happy Fourth of July, y’all! And a huge thanks to Patrick for covering the Blackhawks for a long weekend while I disappeared to beautiful Reading, PA (that general area) to celebrate my younger brother getting married. It was a great time with extended family and friends. And it was hard to say goodbye at the end of the party not knowing when I might get a chance to hang out with some of these folks again.

Which kinda feels like an appropriate start to draft week in the NHL for the Blackhawks…

  • The 2022 NHL Draft begins on Thursday night with the first round. Rounds 2-7 will take place on Friday. As I write this, the Blackhawks don’t have a pick on Thursday but that could easily change in a big way in the coming days.
  • On Sunday, Patrick did a terrific job breaking down some heavy Blackhawks rumor mill action involving not only Alex DeBrincat (this week’s hot topic name), but also Kirby Dach, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
  • My two cents on the DeBrincat trade market this week remains relatively simple: with this year’s draft class having more questions than answers after the top 4-5 picks, if the Blackhawks aren’t getting No. 1 overall from Montreal (which I cannot imagine would happen with the draft in Montreal and the Habs owning the first pick) they should probably wait to make a deal involving a significant first round pick and DeBrincat until Thursday night so they’re absolutely sure the player they would want is available with the pick they acquire.
  • We’ve now heard reputable insiders tie the Hawks to the Devils (2nd overall pick) and Flyers (5th overall pick) in rumors for DeBrincat. But, as Patrick outlined, it appears general manager Kyle Davidson is looking for a package of multiple first-round picks plus at least one prospect. So a top-five pick in this year’s draft isn’t necessarily going to clinch a trade.
  • On Sunday night, Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers at The Athletic shared some of their rumor mill reporting as we start the week of the draft. They had some differing insights from previous reporting.
  • Their reporting went full wet blanket on any potential blockbuster for DeBrincat. After hearing there were teams legitimately offering multiple first rounders for him, Laz and Powers are leaning more in the direction of a disappointingly light return for Chicago’s star sniper.
  • If you’re a Blackhawks fan, it’s likely going to be less than what you’re hoping for. One league source thought the recent Kevin Fiala trade is probably what the Blackhawks can hope to get. 

  • That would be massively underwhelming based on a lot of the league-wide speculation of what teams might be willing to give up; LA traded away the 19th overall pick and a solid defense prospect. We’ve been talking about multiple firsts plus plus for DeBrincat
  • Laz and Powers reporting re: the futures of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews is in line with what I’m hearing: they won’t be moved this summer and — if they’re moved at all before their current contracts expire next summer — it would be closer to the trade deadline. But there’s a good chance at least one, if not both, finishes their contract in Chicago even if DeBrincat gets traded.
  • An intriguing, significant trade took place on Sunday. The Lightning traded defenseman Ryan McDonagh to Nashville as they desperately try to create enough cap space to keep most of the band together for next year. Tampa’s in a bad spot with the cap and McDonagh was the first major departure from their two-time championship roster. He isn’t likely to be the last this summer.
  • McDonagh had to waive his no-trade clause to accept the deal to Nashville, which he did. This is a really nice add for a Nashville team that’s trying to remain in the playoff picture. But the Preds still have to figure out a number with their best offensive player before he can bolt via free agency. Will they be able to keep Filip Forsberg?
  • On their Summer Trade Watch report, The Fourth Period lists Ottawa, Columbus, Toronto and Anaheim as teams interested in Dylan Strome. Strome is No. 22 on their top-35 list of trade candidates (they have DeBrincat at No. 2 behind Jakob Chychrun).
  • Interestingly, TFP lists Chicago as one of the teams potentially interested in Kings forward Gabe Vilardi.
  • Finally, we’re not necessarily starting this rumor but if the Blackhawks wanted to sign the mascot in Portland to help add some physicality to the roster we wouldn’t be mad.
  • written by

    Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

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