Latest on the Blackhawks, Blue Jackets and Sharks – April 22, 2017

by | Apr 22, 2017 | Rumors | 31 comments

Should the Chicago Blackhawks try to trade defenseman Brent Seabrook this summer?

Calls for changes for the Chicago Blackhawks, suggested offseason moves for the Columbus Blue Jackets and the futures of San Jose Sharks forwards Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau in your NHL rumor mill.

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance suggests the Chicago Blackhawks should explore trading veteran defenseman Brent Seabrook, leave center Marcus Kruger unprotected in the expansion draft and find a suitable, affordable replacement for backup goalie Scott Darling.

The Blackhawks need salary-cap flexibility. Moving Seabrook would clear over $6 million annually off the Blackhawks’ books. If Kruger is selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, it would free up over $3 million. Darling is likely to depart via unrestricted free agency. Custance acknowledges moving the 32-year-old Seabrook, who has seven years left on his contract with a no-movement clause, “may be mission impossible.” 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Steve Rosenbloom notes the Blackhawks blueline lacks youth and speed, suggesting general manager Stan Bowman will have to be an aggressive trader to address this issue. He believes the Blackhawks would ideally trade Seabrook but he has a no-movement clause. Even without it, he doubts anyone would take “a 32-year-old defenseman with seven years left on a deal that swallows $6.875 million of salary-cap space annually.”

Rosenbloom discounts the possibility of trading 38-year-old winger Marian Hossa, who has four years left on his contract at $5.2 million annually and dismisses the notion of dealing goalie Corey Crawford, who also has a no-movement clause. He doesn’t see Bowman trading Nick Schmaltz, especially given the possibility of Kruger’s departure in the expansion draft. Ryan Hartman, however, could be a trade candidate. He also suggests packaging some “highly rated minor leaguers” for a young blueliner.

David Haugh singles out the expensive contracts of Seabrook, Hossa, Kruger and Artem Anisimov for the inflexibility of their roster. He suggests defensman Niclas Hjalmarsson as a trade candidate, as he has a limited no-movement clause and is the Hawk most likely to bring back something in a deal. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Mark Lazerus also points out the Blackhawks lack of salary-cap flexibility this offseason, even if Kruger departs in the expansion draft. “It would be insane to trade Corey Crawford to save only a couple of million dollars, and Brent Seabrook’s albatross of a contract and no-movement clause will make him difficult to unload.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve heard the suggestion of trading Crawford and re-signing Darling, but I don’t see Bowman doing this. Frankly, I don’t see any of their players carrying full no-movement clauses to waive them. Hjalmarsson has a modified no-trade (his no-movement clause is merely to prevent demotion to the minors) with a 10-team trade list. Yes, he’ll be easier to move than the others, but 10 teams leaves a limited number of possible destinations. Bowman obviously can’t shed his younger players. It’ll be interesting to see what he does to shed salary while improving his blueline. 

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance believes the Columbus Blue Jackets must find a way to avoid losing a useful player in the expansion draft, find a way to shed some salary and try to re-sign forward Sam Gagner. They have several players carrying no-movement clauses who must be protected in the expansion draft, including forwards Scott Hartnell and Brandon Dubinsky. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets have over $70 million invested in 21 players and must re-sign pending RFAs Alexander Wennberg, Josh Anderson and backup goalie Joonas Korpisalo, provided the latter isn’t lost in the expansion draft. Custance seems to suggest the Blue Jackets try to move Hartnell and/or Dubinsky, but that’s easier said than done. Hartnell was willing to waive his clause last summer but when no takers emerged he changed his mind. He might not be as accommodating this year. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: Mark Purdy reports (stick tap to G.J. Berg) this could be the final playoff series for Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau with the San Jose Sharks. Both are 37 years old and slated for unrestricted free agency in July. “Both say they wish to continue playing hockey. But if the Sharks can’t go farther than the first round at this stage of their careers, does the team still want or need them? Or should the salary cap money go to younger players? Likewise, do Marleau and Thornton still want or need the Sharks? Or would they prefer joining another Stanley Cup contender in need of a final missing piece? Will they demand multiyear deals at major money or give a hometown discount?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the two, I’d say Thornton stands a better chance of re-signing with the Sharks, thought he decline in his stats this season could be cause for concern. He could get a one-year, bonus-laden deal. If the Sharks opt work out a two-year deal with Thornton for less than his current cap hit of $6.75 million (like around $5 million annually), perhaps Marleau gets a one-year deal with a low base salary and bonuses. 


  1. A couple days ago it was suggested that Chicago would not make significant changes in the off-season. I think today’s read is more on target!! I don’t think that Chicago will tolerate two straight years of early playoff exits without some major surprises!!

  2. The Hawks are in Cap hell, & stuck in the mud with terrible ‘no-movement’ clauses with aging veterans; 38 year old Hossa with 4 years left, & 32 year old Seabrook with 7 years left. their defence is ancient.Yikes! They already began their spiral.

    • Agreed, don’t make the same mistake Detroit made, so do what you can to retool now.

    • Seabrooke just turned 32 2 days ago. Keith will be 34 in July, & Hjalmarsson 30 in June. That’s not ancient. None of these guys look to be slowing down yet. I’d take Keith or Hlajmarsson in trade with out the slightest hesitation but not Seabrooke’s contract.

      I don’t think Seabrooke is a 6.875 mil per year Dman today, never mind 5 to 7 years from now. This was an over payment by at least a mil per & 3 years to long.

      Hossa & Keith were signed to extremely long deals 12 & 13 years respectively. Both contracts along with others were deemed by the NHL to being cap circumventing contracts that carry cap recapture penalties should they retire before completion of their contracts. Said penalties to be paid by Chicago even if traded so trading either is problematic.

      The biggest mistake for me was giving Kane & Toews 10.4 each. Kane should have gotten about 8 to 8.5 & Toews 7 to 7.5. These savings would have gone a long way to helping Chicago’s cap issues today.

      I see little change in Chicago. Something has to give but very few options or scenarios available. Losing to Nashville is unfortunate but this is still am exceptional good team & could easily bounce back aging roster or not. The youth being added this year & next will get better & with each passing year the recapture penalties on Hossa decline & he may be movable to a bottom feeder with incentive eventually. Until a Dman develops to replace Hjalmarsson or Seabrooke no changes happening on D in the top 3.

      Overpaying Toews, Kane & Seabrooke by a combined by 5 to 7 million has handcuffed Chicago’s ability to flush out a 23 man roster.

      • The Hossa and Keith deals are not as bad for trade purpose as one may think. Hossa actual salary for the next 4yrs is $1M per season, while his cap hit is $5.275 maybe some low budget team takes this with a sweetener. Keith is goes 5, 4.5, 3.5, 2.65, 2.1 and 1.5 cap hit is $5.538 but Chicago isn’t moving him anyway. Seabrooks actual salary is $9m each for the next two seasons, he isn’t moving either but for different reasons then Keith. All my info is from so if I’m wrong blame them.

      • Exactly right. 7 players taking up more than sixty percent of their cap space….. They made the long, big money deals, now they pay the price…..

      • They had some youth in d-men Steven Johns who they traded away to Dallas for non sense.

  3. I guess David Haugh doesn’t think Toews and Kane have expensive contracts, Seabrook just got his, I thought the dollar amount was ok but the term way to long. To make any significant change they would have to move a core player but all of the core have either expensive contracts, too much term and they all have NMC. Good Luck with that. Hossa is 38 and still has 4yrs left at $5.275 per. The only one moveable would be Duncan Keith but why in the heck would you move him. As people like to say the are paying for the price of championships. Personally I call it bad management of the cap. Maybe we are seeing the downward spiral of the Blackhawks.

    • I don’t see the pens payin 10 mil to goalies. Poor cap management. I can see pens keeping maf and trading Murray. If they believe strong enough in Jarry. I doubt it but each round makes the possibility more of a reality.

      • Huh… dat was spossed to be below

    • I think a dream pairing here would be Duncan Keith and the Leafs. I think his experience, and the fact that he’s still a workhorse could be just the thing to get the Leafs to the next level. Opinions?

      • Before you seek opinions, let us know who you think the Leafs would/should relinquish to get Keith. Because, for a guy of his ability under a contract that costs just $5,538,462 off the cap to the end of 2022-23 (when he’ll be 39 and with a full NMC) prying him out of Chicago is going to cost a bundle – not some vague prospects or draft picks

  4. Seabrook to the Oilers would be the Hawks only hope. He’s an Alberta kid, right? The Oilers are one right shot top 4 D man with Cup experience away from being legit contenders (assuming Talbot proves worthy).

    A scenario where the Penguins keep both Murray and Fleury is becoming realistic (assuming they can cut a deal with Vegas).

    They’d have to get rid of both Hagelin and Hornqvist. But, they have lots of young entry level forwards who would replace them.

    The Pens could offer Tristan Jarry to Vegas, who might well opt for a 22 year old potential franchise goalie over two years of MAF.

    • They can have MAF if that is the case. That’s like trading Hornqvist, Hagelen and Jarry for MAF, no thanks. MAFs play right now is not changing minds in the Penguins management, it’s increasing his trade value. You want to pay 12 million of the cap to 2 goalies? The Flames would be happy to take Fleury right now and if the Pens took Niemi back then so would the Stars. Jarry was the best goalie in the AHL this season and is still only 22. You don’t throw that away to keep a 32 year old who only until recently was preventing Murray from getting all the games he needs.

      • And if pens like Jarry enough then Murray moving possibility increases each round maf wins.

      • Jarry was 1 of the best goalies in the AHL this season. Saros, McIntyre, Forsberg, Stalock, Copley, Rittich, Sparks etc. Even Halak & Enroth were brilliant down in the AHL. Saying Jarry was the best goalie in the AHL is a stretch.

        As always MAF will be traded before the expansion draft. Murray will be as he is now the starter, a veteran will be brought into back up Murray & Jarry will spend several more years developing in the AHL. Potentially lost in the next round of expansion which will happen before the 2021-22 season commences.

      • I want to win Cups.

        Having MAF and Murray goes further towards that goal in the Pen’s window than keeping aging Hagelin and Hornqvist (both of whom’s games could fall off a cliff, Hagelin because any loss of speed makes him an AHL caliber player and Horny because he has running back miles on him) when the Pens have more than adequate (possible upgrades) available to replace them in Sprong, Archibald, Aston-Reese, etc.

        Jarry’s timeline doesn’t fit that same window. He’s expendable in that sense.

        It’s unlikely to happen, though, because MAF doesn’t want to be a 1B or even a 1A. He wants to play 65 a year.

      • I dont disagree about hags or horny but its not a choice between them and keeping two number ones at 10 mil. Sheary, Dumo, Guentzel, rust, schultz all will need resigned in the next year or two. a replacement for bonino must be signed. hags is an overpaid thirdliner/pk’er.. nice to have but replaceable… BUT his replacement will cost some money…

        10 mil for two goalies is a luxury that a team with crosby/malkin/kessel/letang would have a hard time stomaching unless the cap does something special.

        The best move would be moving maf if its possible. I have concerns about Murrays ability to stay healthy… but he is younger and numbers wise he is a better goalie. that being said if the pens really think Jarry is a potential “franchise goalie” he would be superfluous with Murray and could be groomed in the last two years of Marc’s contract. this would be dependent on having difficulty moving Marc, what the return for Murray would be (it should be decent), and the pens trust in Jarry…. don’t forget they traded up to get Jarry.

      • I think you’ve tried to send Fleury everywhere at some point.

      • Jarry had the best record in the AHL this year and had some of the best numbers. Was also a starter in the AHL all star game. I would bet good money on him winning the AHL equivalent of the Vezina. Keeping MAF after this season makes no sense, cap wise, development wise, etc. It’s not worth debating any more. One of Hagelen or Hornqvist will be the LV casualty and his replacement will be named Daniel Sprong or Zach Aston-Reese. They do still need to pay Shultz, Dumoulin, Sheary etc but they should be in good shape cap wise if they get rid of MAF. You can’t keep him and pay 4-4.5 million for Dumo and Shultz and find a right handed shot for the bottom pair. I can see Sprong taking Rusts spot in the top 6.

      • You can’t keep both. But Murray at 4 ish and maf at 6 ish isn’t a huge gap. It’s absolutely debatable for so many reasons. And each round Marc gets pens thru the bigger the debate will be. But good position to be in. Keep Murray a proven young starter and top 10 goalie when healthy, get a minimal return for maf, and sign a vet backup. Or keep Marc on a reasonable contract groom Jarry and get a return for Murray that should be better than the Schneider return. Both ok with me.

      • @ Deeeeeee are you blind did you watch the Columbus series….he stole game 5 and had only one off game…glad your not running my team…

      • I think its Hagelin that will go keep Horny 20 + goals a year, net front presence, a pain to play against, and brings physicality to the line-up which the penguins need…

      • Maf will move on after this year…..but its Murray’s health and durability that concerns me…in only a year and a half he has been injured a lot… Fluery had the two brief concussions but over 12 years that nothing. the penguins have two really good goalies in Tristan Jarry and this kid in the minors they drafted last year (he feel in their laps) penguins scouts are saying he is the best of all of them.
        Maybe keep MAF move Murray get a really good return and groom tristan jarry and the big Swedish kid they drafted

    • I hope Chiarelli doesn’t trade for Seabrook. Decent player but that contract??? No way. There’s gotta be a younger, cap friendlier RHD player out there.

      • Edm could trade for a stud Dman before the expansion draft from 1 of the 5 teams confronted with losing 1 & protect 4 Dman under the 8 skater option.

        That would require them to expose, Maroon, Kassian, Letestu or Pouliot at forward. Losing any of these players in expansion to get that Dman is easily justifiable. They protect Lucic, RNH, Eberle & Draisaitl. Anyone else of consequence being exempt.

        Savard, Manson, Vatanen, Hamonic & Trouba are all right handed Dman from teams with protection issues come expansion. Anh, Clb, Min & NYI will all lose a good Dman if they don’t trade 1 prior to the expansion draft. Winnipeg could buy out Enstrom or Protect 4 Dman although that will cost them a quality young forward. The other 4 teams have more than 4 keepers at D.

        Should be a very interesting summer. Edm has Klefbom, Sekera, Larsson, Nurse & Benning for sure at D next season so not even essential to trade for 1. Anyone have anything bad to say about Chiarelli today?

  5. I wish these Chicago scribes would provide insight into who they think Chicago’s keepers will be if Kruger is to be exposed. 5 forwards are obvious & because of that Chicago looks looked into the 7,3 & 1 format.

    Toews, Kane, Hossa & Anisimov all have NMC’s, Panarin makes 5. Virtually every other forward of value other than Kruger & Panik are exempt so why would they be losing Kruger. That appears to be their 7 baring a trade.

    I would say unless a D is traded they are losing TvR on D as Forsling & Kempny are exempt.

  6. I know it’s disappointing to lose in the 1st round of the playoffs but Chicago got beat by a solid hockey team. There are very few easy rides in the NHL these days. Nashville outplayed Chicago.

    Just get to the playoffs, get great goaltending & go on a role & anything is possible. I didn’t watch as much of this series due to scheduling issues. I watched NYR@Mtl, Tor@Was, Bos@Ott; flipping back & forth between these 2 & SJ@Edm which conflicted so only watched between periods & after these games ended. I wish the NHL staggered these start times better. They did 1 night.

    Haven’t seen a single game live yet in the playoffs due to injury. Can’t fly currently.

  7. Brent Seabrook would be a good 1st captain for Vegas. They want character, commitment and he knows how to win. He is still a top 20 Dman in the league and what better way to teach your young core what it takes. Vegas would be a good option post expansion draft. That will give Vegas a chance to grab assets to package back to CHI for Seabrook.

    I know I know the contract….but Vegas wants to be playoff bound in 3 yrs and he gives their D legitimacy right away.

    • & Seabrooke is going to waive his NMC to go to Vegas why?

      Also why does Vegas want to be playoff bound in 3 years? That seems incredibly optimistic. Edm took a decade to get back to the playoffs. It took Toronto 4 years to get back to the playoffs & I think most are pleasant surprised Toronto made the playoffs this season. Arizona hasn’t made the playoff’s since 2011-12.

  8. As much as I like both Marleau and Thorton, I think Sharks need to move forward without them. Even at $5 mil, both are too expensive to retain as third line players. Sharks have a solid prospect pool, and having extra money freed up would allow them to pick up a first line center to replace Thorton. Both players might be able to get on a cup-bound team for a greatly reduced salary if they want to still play. I’d also like to see them give Tim Heed a chance on D.