According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Blackhawks are expected to trade Hossa’s contract, along with winger Vinnie Hinostroza and defenseman Jordan Oesterle, to the Arizona Coyotes. This would free up $5.275 million in cap hit for each of the next three seasons from Hossa’s contract. Hinostroza was set to have a cap hit of $1.5 million for the next two seasons.
This is the fourth trade in just over a calendar year between the Blackhawks and the
Blackhawks West Arizona Coyotes. The deal is not official, but it isn’t too surprising. The Flyers and Red Wings have traded away the long, expensive contracts of Chris Pronger and Pavel Datsyuk respectively. Pronger retired due to injury returns, while Datsyuk left the NHL to return to the KHL in his native country of Russia.
Hossa was diagnosed with a progressive skin disorder caused by the hockey equipment before the 2017-18 season. Hossa already announced he would not be coming back to play in the NHL, so the trade obviously makes sense, as Chicago is trying to stay below the salary cap, while Arizona is trying to stay above the league floor.
It is a little sad to see Hinostroza leave; the sixth-round draft pick from Notre Dame showed potential, despite having a smaller frame. Oesterle flashed potential throughout his only season in Chicago. Oesterle was signed in free agency last offseason after playing 25 games across three years in Edmonton.
There are reports saying that the Yotes are going to send players back. Hjalmarsson and Kruger, both former Blackhawks, are on the Coyotes, so they could be coming back to the Blackhawks. Hjalmarsson will have a cap hit over $4 million for the next three years, and both Kruger and Hjalmarsson have at least a partial no-move clause, which is something the ‘Hawks should try to avoid.
Another player could be 22-year-old Christian Dvorak. This upcoming season will be his last in his current contract. Dvorak currently carries a cap hit of under $1 million. He played 156 games in Arizona, scoring 30 goals and 40 assists across two years.
We will see if this trade goes through.