Fans call for Blackhawk to be traded after the recent showing

Published October 8, 2023 at 10:20

Nikita Zaitsev's career so far has been less than stellar. In 2016, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed the undrafted defenseman, believing he would be the defenseman they were looking for. The following season, then-general manager Lou Lamoriello decided to jump the gun and gave him a monster seven-year, $31.5 million contract extension.

Ever since signing that contract, he has had to live up to those numbers, and he has failed. He only lasted one more season with the Maple Leafs before they traded him to the Senators in hopes of cap relief and giving him a fresh start.

However, the words "fresh start" continue to follow him, as the Senators had him for four seasons, and the results were essentially the same.

The Senators did not have any confidence in him and traded him to the Blackhawks in 2022. It now appears that his terrible play has surfaced in Chicago, and fans are taking notice.

Zaitsev currently carries a cap hit of $4.5 million, and as the seasons have gone on, his point total continues to dwindle. In the 2022-2023 season with the Senators, he only played 28 games, mustering just 5 assists and holding a -5 rating.

With a contract as lucrative as his, these numbers are unacceptable, even with a rebuilding team. The good news is that he is in the final year of this contract, and he will become an unrestricted free agent in 2024-2025. Some are suggesting that the Blackhawks should buy him out now and cut their losses.

However, I feel they should leave him for the remainder of the year and let his contract run out, allowing him to walk away on his own.
The team is still rebuilding and there will be misery for another year.

They should try to let him get claimed on waivers, although it's unlikely to happen, and he will likely report to the IceHogs. It won't be long before the Blackhawks rid themselves of this terrible contract.
October 8   |   49 answers
Fans call for Blackhawk to be traded after the recent showing

Shoudl the Blackhawks trade , buyout or leave Zaitsev for the remaining year of his deal?

Trade him1734.7 %
Buy out1938.8 %
Leave him1326.5 %
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