While we are just over two weeks away from the NHL Entry Draft and three weeks away from the beginning of free agency, the rumors are starting to swirl around the Blackhawks roster as silly season is about to begin. Something flying under the radar of all of the Hawks trade rumors though, is who is going to be in net for the start of the Blackhawks rebuild?
They currently only have two goalies under contract in Arvid Soderblom
, who spent the majority of last season in Rockford, and recently signed college UFA Jaxson Stauber
. With Soderblom only being 22 while Stauber is 23 and heading into his first professional season, they are both expected to spend the upcoming year in Rockford. Which is a good thing as there is no reason to rush young goalies to the NHL, especially when your team is rebuilding. But with them both in Rockford that leaves the Blackhawks with no current goalies on their NHL roster. Kevin Lankinen
and Colin Deila are both about to be unrestricted free agents with no immediate signs of either being retained for the upcoming season. While that doesn't completely rule out either being brought back, it would make sense for Kyle Davidson and the Blackhawks to only keep one and bring in an established veteran in net for them to split time with as the rebuild commences.
Which is why pending UFA Braden Holtby
seems like a great fit for the rebuilding Hawks. Holtby will be 33 years old before the start of the next season and is coming off of a solid year as a backup for the Dallas Stars, posting a .913 Save % and 2.78 GAA. Having made $2 million on his last contract Holtby will likely not be expecting a large contract either (Not that cap space will be a problem for the Hawks over the next few years) but his veteran leadership could be a great fit for the young Blackhawks over the next few seasons. His experience as a Stanley Cup Champion and Vezina Trophy will not only make him a good role model for a young goalie, but for the rest of the young players on the Blackhawks roster. The Hawks will need good veterans mixed in with the next wave of young guns to show not only how to be a professional but the kind of mindset it takes to have a long NHL career and Holtby would be a great fit. While also being solid and serviceable in net, he certainly won't be a sieve in net, but likely won't be stealing many games for the Blackhawks either as fans saw Marc Andre Fleury accomplish many times in his short tenor here.
This would be similar to the signing of Cam Ward when the previous Blackhawks front office regime announced their "retool rebuild" and brought in veterans Ward and Chris Kunitz. Established veterans are the types of signings fans should expect in the upcoming summers during the course of the Blackhawks rebuild and why bringing in Holtby this summer makes a ton of sense for the start of their rebuild.
Its time to trust the process and hop on the ride for the rebuild folks, but let me know if you think that signing Braden Holtby
would be a good move this summer by participating in the poll below! And feel free to let me know or why not in the comments!
DO YOU THINK BRADEN HOLTBY WOULD BE A GOOD SIGNING TO START THE REBUILD?
JUNE 21 66 ANSWERS
|YES PAIR HIM WITH LANKINEN IN NET!||40||60.6 %|
|YES PAIR HIM WITH DEILA IN NET!||9||13.6 %|
|NO JUST BRING BACK LANKINEN AND DEILA!||17||25.8 %|
| LIST OF POLLS|