Chicago Blackhawks to let these three players walk in free agency

May 16, 2024  (5:52 PM)

Nikita Zadorov in a Flames uniform
Photo credit: Sergei Belski USA Today

Kyle Davidson has let a multitude of former Blackhawks walk to free-agency and for the 2024-2025 season, FanSided write Todd Matthews has ideas of his next steps.

While some free-agents who will be available have been Blackhawks in the past, Kyle Davidson should rush to consume some of the $33 Million in cap space on retreads.

While two retreads will be servicable options for the Chicago Blackhawks, the third option may not be necessary.

Patrick Kane

Patrick Kane would be everyone's choice undoubtedly, given they want to see Connor Bedard and Patrick Kane on the same line. With Kane looking like Showtime of old, with the Detroit Red WIngs, post-hip surgery fans are clamoring for his return.
There's likely hood that Kane will return to Detroit, signing a new deal with the team. But that doesn't mean they should rush to sign him, while the team is still not even ready for a Wild Card spot in the playoffs.
Kyle Davidson should continue to build a group of contenders through the draft and development, which will of course be a few more seasons.
Davidson should wait until the playoffs are in reach for the Blackhawks and sign Kane for a timely playoff run, before retirement. It's not a matter of if, but when.

Nikita Zadorov

Nikita Zadorov wasn't a mainstay in the Windy City, only playing 55 games during the 20202-2021 season with the Blackhawks.
Despite that short tenure, he was still a force to be reckoned with in the defensive zone. During his time with the Calgary Flames and recently Vancouver Canucks, the 28 year-old has played like a wrecking ball still.
At age 28, he has added 68 blocks and 177 hits, while maintaining between 17 and 18 minutes on ice per night. Zadorov will continue to remain a 2nd or 3rd pairing player at best, as an effective player. But should the Blackhawks bring him back?
No, they shouldn't considering he's due for a raise at age 29, with a higher AAV and term. Which means Kyle should promote a player from Rockford in his place or find a rental to fill the hole left by upcoming UFA's during the off-season.

Dominik Kubalik

Kubalik once showed a lot of promise in the Blackhawks system, posting 116 points( 62 G, 54 A) as primarily a middle-six option for the team.
Being a physical presence on the ice, while being utilized on the power-play lent well to the team. He would continue to show his worth with the Detroit Red Wings, posting 45 points( 20 G, 25 A) in 81 games in Hockeytown.
However, his continuity of production ended when he arrived in the Ottawa Senators system. He would drop to 4th line play and production only registering 15 points total, with the Senators.
This screams "red flags" as to whether or not Kyle Davidson should consider bringing Kubalik back.
It's unsure whether Kubalik's upside is spent, but there are options with restricted free agents as 4th liners who could be considered in his place.
Source: Todd Matthews, Blackhawk Up
3 former Blackhawks who Kyle Davidson should not bring back for 2024-25
16 MAI   |   367 ANSWERS
Chicago Blackhawks to let these three players walk in free agency

Who should return?

Patrick Kane30081.7 %
Nikita Zadorov4311.7 %
Dominik Kubalik246.5 %
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