Blackhawks deciding how to spend their cap money: many tough decisions

Published June 1, 2023 at 1:03
The Chicago Blackhawks currently have the most coveted draft pick since Connor McDavid. They managed to win the draft lottery and score the rights to Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats. The real work begins after his selection because general manager Kyle Davidson will have seven selections in the first three rounds in this year's draft.

One of the luxuries of a teardown of a lineup is having vast amounts of cap space. Currently, the Blackhawks have $41 million to spend between now and the beginning of October when the new season begins. That number alone is staggering and they're well below the cap floor. So this gives the Blackhawks a chance to pick anybody they want throughout the NHL while drafting many great talents.

There will be numerous unrestricted free agents available for the Blackhawks to look at. We'll go over a few choices out there that could help the Blackhawks develop and grow.

Michael Bunting. The now unrestricted free agent for the Toronto Maple Leafs certainly makes a case for the Blackhawks to look at as he's coming off two seasons with the Maple Leafs where he had record points. After spending a few years with the Coyotes, he signed a two-year $950,000 per season deal with the Maple Leafs and he accelerated with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

Bunting has an edge to him and will give them some physicality they need as they continue to fill out their lineup. Bunting is seeking a long-term deal with the Maple Leafs who are not even willing to discuss it with him and will let him walk away for free. The Blackhawks could pick him up on a 7-year deal worth 3.5 million per season. He would fit nicely in their top 9.

Max Domi. Domi, who was a Blackhawk earlier this year and was moved to the Dallas Stars, would be a great player to return while doing a rebuilding phase. His physical play and scoring ability can help the Blackhawks in the short term as they will need free agents to help fill out the roster and possibly use him again to flip him at the deadline next year to acquire more assets. It will depend on what Davidson feels he wants that he might look at him again.

Ryan O'Reilly. After the disappointing loss in the second round to the Florida Panthers, O'Reilly, a rental for the Maple Leafs has the desire to return to the Western Conference. With his family currently living in Saint Louis and the St Louis Blues in a retooling themselves, this could give the Blackhawks chance to take a crack for O'Reilly and offer him a decent deal to keep him there long term.

O'Reilly does have some gas left in the tank and certainly has the tenacity to remain a top 6 player. If paired with the proper wingers, he could stay a decent player for the Blackhawks and give that veteran presence they're going to need to teach the young kids as they come in from AHL.

We need to keep in mind the Blackhawks will require some cap space to reserve for players like Connor Bedard in the future as they will require major deal upgrades when they come out of their entry-level contracts.

It's a fascinating time for Blackhawks fans as they watch the team transform back into a contender which I feel will be very quick.
June 1   |   292 answers
Blackhawks deciding how to spend their cap money: many tough decisions

Who would you like the Blackhawks to sign in the offseason as a UFA?

Michael Bunting3010.3 %
Max Domi16757.2 %
Ryan O'Reilly4916.8 %
Someone else4615.8 %
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