Development Camp Sites and Sounds, What's Going On in Free Agency, Keith Making it Official, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Development Camp Sites and Sounds, What’s Going On in Free Agency, Keith Making it Official, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

As we’re now one day away from free agency, the Blackhawks are in the awkward position where fans are wondering who’s going rather than coming. But at some point there will be players added to the NHL roster because… well, they don’t have a full roster. So we’ll see how general manager Kyle Davidson spends his money in the coming days.

  • We did see two former Blackhawks working out at the Fifth Third Arena before the Hawks’ development camp began on Monday. Ryan Hartman and Vinnie Hinostroza were getting in a pretty serious workout off the ice early Monday morning.
  • Chicago is hosting its development camp this week, and we were there to see all 11 of the team’s newly drafted prospects on the ice Monday morning. The defensemen provided a fascinating glimpse into the future, and the BIGgest takeaway was the size of the group.
  • The Blackhawks’ new draft picks met the media after practice on Monday. And one takeaway was the slight bit of swagger from a few of them, though they were still humbled to be Blackhawks. Frank Nazar shared his nickname with the Chicago media. I like it.
  • Top pick Kevin Korchinski noted that he was star struck when Jonathan Toews showed up at the rink to see how the kids looked on Monday.
  • As the Blackhawks’ future was on the practice ice, a couple forwards departed the organization via buyouts.
  • According to CapFriendly, the Blackhawks will now carry $6,788,463 in dead cap space into the 2022-23 season and have another $3,288,457 waiting for them the following year. Is this bad? No. Because, in case you missed it, the Blackhawks aren’t actively trying to spend to the ceiling to win games right now. So having dead cap space on a terrible team isn’t an obstacle to accomplishing the mission at hand.
  • The Blackhawks extended only two qualifying offers on Monday: Caleb Jones and Philipp Kurashev. Coupling the RFA departures with the buyouts, the Blackhawks now have a few forward spots to fill on their NHL roster when free agency begins on Wednesday.
  • The Blackhawks announced a number of coaching hires on Monday and Tuesday mornings. Monday we learned Derek King and Kevin Dean will be Luke Richardson’s new assistant coaches on the NHL squad. Based on conversations we’ve had with people in and around the NHL, Dean is going to be a terrific addition to the stafff.
  • And Tuesday we learned the Blackhawks will retain Anders Sorenson as the head coach in Rockford, removing the interim tag from his role.
  • Scott Powers shared his sourced intel on the futures of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews on The Athletic on Monday.
  • From Powers:

“I still don’t believe Davidson is going to ask them to waive their no-movement clauses. It’ll be up to them to say they want to leave. At the trade deadline, the Blackhawks would be more likely to retain more of their cap hits. Plus, you’ll probably have some teams who may not be thinking Stanley Cup right now, but that could change over the course of the season. Adding Kane or Toews as a rental would probably make a lot more sense to a general manager in March.”

  • The Edmonton Oiler and Duncan Keith will hold a press conference on Tuesday, making Keith’s retirement announcement official.
  • Finally, we all experienced the “thrill” of trading draft picks last week as Blackhawks fans. MLB organizations can’t trade most of their draft picks (compensatory picks only right now), and that’s stupid and antiquated. Can you imagine if the Cubs would wheel and deal up the draft the way the Blackhawks did?


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