The Chicago Blackhawks 2019-20 roster questions involve which of their restricted free agents (RFA’s) or unrestricted free agents (UFA’s) will be re-signed in the off-season. They currently have several on the active roster as well as in their system. We will list all of them as well as the players currently under contract. There are definitely roster spots available and many are wondering who will fill those positions in the season ahead.
Blackhawks 2019-20 Roster Questions
The Blackhawks have been busy this off-season and just completed the NHL Draft weekend with many promising picks. The next hurdle for the team is which of their restricted free agents will be offered a contract. NHL team’s qualifying offers are due Tuesday, June 25th. Those are followed by signing day on July 1st for unrestricted free agents. The next few weeks will be very interesting for the team as it continues to rebuild.
Blackhawks 2019-20 Roster – Players Unsigned
General manager Stan Bowman took care of two restricted free agents before their qualifying offers were due this summer. He signed Carl Dahlstrom and Slater Koekkoek to new deals which firmed up the Blackhawks defence corp for the season ahead.
There are currently three unrestricted free agents and three restricted free agents on the roster left without deals. They also have four unrestricted free agents and eight restricted free agents in the minors that also need to be addressed.
UFA’s – Unsigned
RFA’s – Unsigned
Of the six players above it is very likely that Brendan Perlini and Gustav Forsling get qualifying offers by June 25th. Perlini is a player with incredible potential as a former first-round pick. Unfortunately, he has been an enigma since getting drafted and has often struggled for consistency in his game. He has also played well below his size at 6’3″ 211 pounds since joining the Blackhawks. If the team does give him a qualifying offer he will need to up his game to the level of play which earned him NHL Second Star of the week last season. He cannot disappear for games on end and expect to continue to be in the lineup.
David Kampf may also get an offer depending on what direction Bowman wants to go with his team. The off-season additions of Anton Wedin and Dominik Kubalik are a bad sign for Kampf as well as Marcus Kruger who is an unrestricted free agent. As for Chris Kunitz and Cam Ward, it is very unlikely they return to the Blackhawks after their one-year deals were signed last summer.
UFA’s In The System – Unsigned
The four unrestricted free agents in the system will likely not be re-signed by the Blackhawks. Of the four, Andreas Martinsen has the best chance to get an offer because of his size. That is something lacking after the team traded John Hayden to the New Jersey Devils over the weekend.
RFA’s In The System – Unsigned
- Anthony Louis
- Luke Johnson
- John Quenneville
- Spencer Watson
- Dylan Sikura
- Victor Ejdsell
- Blake Hillman
- Anton Forsberg
The eight restricted free agents in the system present the Blackhawks with some interesting questions. Victor Ejdsell decided to return to Sweden at the end of this past season. He signed a two-year contract to play in the Swedish Hockey League after never getting a real shot at the NHL level with the Blackhawks. As a restricted free agent the Blackhawks will, however, retain his NHL rights.
Anton Forsberg, Dylan Sikura, Anthony Louis, Luke Johnson, and also Blake Hillman may all get qualifying offers from the Blackhawks. Hillman, however, will be staring up at a suddenly crowded blue line with the Blackhawks. They currently have seven defencemen under contract and also Gustav Forsling who is a restricted free agent on the bubble this week. Hillman’s future with the team looks shaky with several prospects on the rise such as Henri Jokiharju and Adam Boqvist. The addition of Alex Vlasic this past weekend also adds another player to the list vying for a spot on the defence corp.
Blackhawks 2019-20 Roster – Players Under Contract
Below we are listing the players currently under contract with the Blackhawks. The defence corp and goaltending appear to be set for the 2019-20 season ahead. Barring any free agents signings, it is unlikely that they will change much before training camp opens.
- Patrick Kane age 30 $10.5 Million (Non-Movement Clause)
- Jonathan Toews age 30 $10.5 Million (Non-Movement Clause)
- Brandon Saad age 26 $6 Million
- Artem Anisimov age 30 $4.55 Million (Modified No-Trade Clause)
- Drake Caggiula age 24 $1.5 Million
- Dylan Strome age 21 $863,333
- Alex DeBrincat age 21 $778,333
- Brent Seabrook age 33 $6.875 Million (Non-Movement Clause)
- Duncan Keith age 35 $5,538,462 Million (Non-Movement Clause)
- Connor Murphy age 25 $3.85 Million
- Erik Gustafsson age 26 $1.2 Million
- Olli Maatta age 24 $4.083 Million
- Slater Koekkoek age 25 $925,000
- Carl Dahlstrom age 24 $850,000
It is at the forward position that there are several positions open. The team has only seven forwards currently signed for next season. If they chose to sign Perlini and Kampf that still makes only nine forwards out of a possible 12 or 13 they could carry.
Cap Space, We’ve Got Cap Space
This is where the Blackhawks new-found salary cap space comes into play. Per capfriendly.com the Blackhawks have roughly $16.486 million in cap space right now. Signing Perlini and Kampf would use up around $2.4 million or more in cap space. Add in Forsling and that may be around another $1 million or more. That still leaves around $12 million to $13 million in cap space that may be available for free agents on July 1st.
It is this unfamiliar cap space that has the Blackhawks faithful all in a buzz. After watching salary-cap-casualty after salary-cap-casualty for so many seasons the fan base is begging for a drunken spending spree on July 1st. Unfortunately, they will need to curb their desires for a huge splash when free agent signing day arrives.
There are two restricted free agents at the end of next season that will require some hefty compensation. Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome have a huge payday coming due in the summer of 2020. Bowman would be smart to spend wisely this year. Even with the $6 million dollar contract of Corey Crawford ending after this season cap space will need to be preserved to take care of “The Cat” and Strome.
Blackhawks 2019-20 Roster Questions Will Be Answered
As of June 25th, the qualifying offers to their restricted free agents will be due. That will start the process of firming up the roster going forward. After that, there is free agent signing day on July 1st. Many questions still remain on how the Blackhawks rebuild will continue this summer.
Up next will be a piece on the unrestricted free agents the Blackhawks may target when free agency signing opens.
One thing is for certain, it is going to be a busy next few weeks for the Blackhawks and the Last Word on Hockey will be there to cover it for you.