The Chicago Blackhawks had high hopes entering the 2017-18 season; they hade brought back Brandon Saad in a trade after shipping him off to Columbus just two offseasons earlier. He was to be reunited with center Jonathan Toews, who had been struggling since Saad left his side. Patrick Sharp was returning after playing two seasons in Dallas, signing a cheap contract to take a veteran leadership and depth role in the Windy City.
With the Hossa/Hinostroza/Oesterle trade that occurred on Thursday afternoon, the Blackhawks were able to free up some cap space. The Blackhawks currently have $9,300,705 in cap space, and one of the ways they could use it would be to acquire a forward like Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes or Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens.
Kruger is the only player currently in the NHL that the Hawks got back in their most recent deal with the Coyotes. He won two Stanley Cups with the Hawks in 2013 and 2015. He was traded to Vegas on July 2, 2017, for future considerations, and was then traded to Carolina two days later for a fifth-round pick.
Former Blackhawks assistant captain Steve Smith stepped down from being the assistant coach of the Carolina Hurricanes to being the assistant coach of the Buffalo Sabres.
The Blackhawks addressed a major need for this offseason; acquiring a backup goaltender. Crawford went 16-9-2 before he suffered symptoms of vertigo and other scary health concerns involving the head. The backup goaltending was a nightmare, however, as the backups combined for a 17-30-8 record. The best of these goalies (excluding Scott Foster) was Anton Forsberg, and he only had a save percentage of .908. The Jeff Glass story was nice while it lasted, but he was not consistent enough with a save percentage of .898 in 15 games.
Not everything Gary Bettman has done has been a colossal failure. But the majority of it has. Continue reading