Well, well, well….suddenly the Blackhawks left side of the defense isn’t so bad. Calvin De Haan is a good player. A simple way to think of him is as a poor man’s Hjalmarsson. He’s a good skater, good stick, good brain, and can move the puck up and out, but he won’t provide much offense beyond that. He’s just a really solid player and great in the room. His teammates with the Canes loved him. De Haan was a big part of the defense for Carolina on their run to the Conference Final. He was in a 3rd pair role there, but the Canes were loaded on defense with Faulk, Slavin, Pesce, and Hamilton making up their top 4. He is definitely an upgrade over Maatta, so now he can be slotted properly in the 3rd pair.
There are certain risk factors for De Haan. He carries a decent cap hit at $4.55M AAV and…he’s only played a full 82 games once in his career. Having said that, if he didn’t have some of these risk factors he wouldn’t be on the market because he is a really good defender. To me, it’s worth the risk.
I don’t care about losing Forsberg or Forsling so we can just skip that part.
I think the Blackhawks are just starting to make what could be a week of some pretty dramatic moves because now there’s a very real depth/log jam on defense.
Your left side will go:
Keith, De Haan, Maatta, Koekkoek, Gustafsson(can also play right side), Dahlstrom.
On the right side:
Seabrook, Murphy, Jokiharju, and maybe…Boqvist
So now the Blackhawks have some difficult decisions to make between now and June 30th because that is the last day to buy someone out…meaning Brent Seabrook. The way his deal is structured makes the cap savings somewhat difficult to manage going forward
As you can see there are virtually no cap savings in three of the next 5 years so the Blackhawks would likely need to trade Seabrook and then have that team buy him out. Seabrook can block any trade, but the Blackhawks can just be like “hey, if you want to be a good guy and get your number retired and all the post-career opportunities, just accept this trade so we can get the full cap savings or block it and we will just buy you out anyways”. That could happen and I wouldn’t be surprised if that conversation hasn’t already happened. There were rumors that the Hawks were talking to Vancouver about Seabrook on draft night, but they didn’t want to do it. Maybe Seabrook would be interested in a move to South Florida. I really don’t know. Pure speculation here because something has to give. They aren’t going to carry all of these contracts. Even typing this paragraph makes me uncomfortable because I LOVE Brent Seabrook, but everyone has to leave at some point and maybe it’s just his time.
Erik Gustafsson is another guy who could be on the move. If the Hawks feel like Jokiharju or Boqvist are ready to make the jump to the NHL full-time and can run the PP then Gustafsson becomes expendible and coming off last year with a favorable contract his value will probably never be higher. I would look to move him. Maybe a part of a deal that sends Seabrook away. Gustafsson is a free agent after next year and will need a raise. A raise the Blackhawks won’t be in position to give him because money will again be tight. And you’d hope and pray that Boqvist would absolutely be ready to fill that void by then anyways. So if he’s not part of your future, he probably shouldn’t be part of your present either.
Lots of moving and shaking left to do. Buckle up.
And oh yeah…I like this trade. Good one for Stan.