How Do the Blackhawks' Current Contracts Grade?

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How Do the Blackhawks’ Current Contracts Grade?

Chicago Blackhawks

On Wednesday morning, Dom Luszczyszyn at The Athletic published his grades for every NHL franchise’s current contract obligations. He ranked the teams from 1-32 based on the deals they currently have on their books. And, as you might guess, the Chicago Blackhawks did not grade very well.

In fact, the Blackhawks received a D+ and came in 29th out of the 32 franchises.

No bueno.

The three teams that ranked lower than the Blackhawks were the Blue Jackets, Sharks and Canadiens.

There is a methodology behind these grades and rankings, which makes it stand up more than just looking at the team’s deals on a site like CapFriendly and saying “Man, he sucks.”

Here’s the Blackhawks’ report card:

My initial response to these grades is a lack of surprise. But then, if we take a step back, there is cause for some optimism when looking at the forward group. Five of the top six graded forward contracts have been signed by Kyle Davidson since he took over as general manager; the only one in that group that was written by Stan Bowman is Patrick Kane’s deal, which is entering its final season.

Indeed, the only three contracts on Chicago’s books that provide a surplus value according to these metrics were all written or acquired by Davidson, which is a good look for the general manager now embarking on a rebuild.

The fact that Taylor Raddysh graded out at an A- is also very interesting. Clearly their metrics see a great deal of value in the forward, who was acquired from Tampa as part of the Brandon Hagel trade this past season. With two years remaining on his current deal, the Blackhawks will now give him the opportunity to support that faith that he didn’t get from the Lightning.

How did the rest of the Blackhawks’ division rank?

2. Colorado Avalanche — A
4. Minnesota Wild — A-
18. Dallas Stars — C+
19. Nashville Predators — C+
22. Winnipeg Jets — C+
26. St. Louis Blues — C
27. Arizona Coyotes — C

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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