DeBrincat Trade Concerns, Colliton on Chicago Tenure, Grier Makes History, and Other Blackhawks Notes

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DeBrincat Trade Concerns, Colliton on Chicago Tenure, Grier Makes History, and Other Blackhawks Notes

Chicago Blackhawks

It’s Tuesday, which means we’re now two days away from the start of the 2022 NHL Draft. Rumors are flying, reports are being confirmed and denied and smoke signals are being sent by teams all over the league. This is going to be a crazy week for Blackhawks fans, so strap in and get ready for a wild one.

  • Montreal’s front office met with the media on Monday and left more questions than answers. They apparently really, truly don’t know who they’re going to take with the first pick on Thursday. And that is likely weighing on the Blackhawks’ ability to make a significant trade.
  • One team tied to the Alex DeBrincat Sweepstakes is the Philadelphia Flyers, who own the fifth overall pick this week. When Elliotte Friedman dropped his latest “32 Thoughts” Podcast on Tuesday morning, he noted that the Flyers don’t want to include their top pick in this week’s draft in a deal for DeBrincat. So apparently No. 5 overall is off the board…
  • Bill Meltzer has written about the Flyers for a while and did a good job of expressing some concerns about Philly going all-in for DeBrincat.
  • What’s his biggest issue with mortgaging the farm for DeBrincat?

“This is my No. 1 concern with DeBrincat’s acquisition cost: the significant risk of losing the player within two seasons. His 2022-23 salary cap hit ($6.4 million) masks the fact that his real-dollar salary of $9 million next season will require a $9 million qualifying offer when he becomes a restricted free agent in the summer of 2023. He is a potential unrestricted free agent after the 2023-24 season, when he will be 26.”

  • Meltzer’s concerns are valid. Throwing around a huge package for DeBrincat and then losing him after one or two years could be potentially catastrophic for a franchise and front office; not everyone can rent a 40-goal scorer for a package of Brandon Saad and Anton Forsberg (too soon, Panarin fans?). And every indication is that the Blackhawks are asking for a lot — and have already turned down a strong offer.
  • Over the past few weeks, we have profiled eight forwards who might be on the Blackhawks’ when they’re on the clock in this week’s 2022 NHL Draft.
  • Former Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton got a new job over the weekend. On Monday, he jumped on Vancouver sports talk radio to discuss his takeaways from his first head coaching gig in the NHL.
  • Colliton noted that he wasn’t necessarily looking to leave his previous gig, but the opportunity to watch Joel Quenneville and learn from him sounded too good to turn down. “And then all of a sudden 14 months later I’m coaching that group.” Pretty strong endorsement for the development program in Chicago, eh?
  • The San Jose Sharks are set to make Mike Grier the first Black general manager in NHL history. ESPN’s Kevin Weekes didn’t disappoint with his report of the news.
  • Grier, 47, appeared in 1,060 regular season games in his NHL career with the Oilers, Capitals, Sabres and Sharks. He also spent the 2018-19 and ’19-20 seasons as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils. He’ll replace Blackhawks icon and Hall of Famer Doug Wilson, who stepped away from the role to deal with health concerns.
  • Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets officially named Rick Bowness their new head coach on Monday. Some thought he was retired, but Bowness has some gas left in the tank and is willing to give it another run with the Jets.
  • When asked Monday about the reports that the Jets had wanted Barry Trotz and that he’s their fallback option, Bowness was blunt. He told the media that Trotz would have been first on his list, too.
  • Finally, we love seeing Josh Hader get hit hard. But especially when it comes off the bat of a Cubs player. And more especially the bat of Seiya Suzuki, who unloaded for a ninth inning homer. Welcome back indeed!

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab