NHL Rumors: Chicago Blackhawks – Front Office, Reichel, Lafferty, and Pending Free Agents
Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times: The Chicago Blackhawks will start mapping out their front office rebuild soon.
‘‘ really start road-mapping, white-boarding it out,’’ he said Friday in Tampa. ‘‘ just bouncing ideas around and maybe talking about structures and different departments and builds we want to look at.’’
They’ll need to make a bunch of new hires, including for an analytics department.
If the Blackhawks recall Lukas Reichel and he plays in five more games, he will burn the first year of his entry-level contract. GM Kyle Davidson isn’t that concerned.
‘‘You can’t really game-plan it that much,’’ he said. ‘‘If he gets 10 games, that’s fine. I’m not too concerned with it, to be honest. Once we’re looking at really spending to that cap and utilizing every dollar, he’s probably going to be in a different contract anyway, out of his entry-level . If we burn it, we burn it.’’
‘I think he can , for sure. He has been great. He has really impressed and fit in, and his style of play is endearing. It’s not dissimilar to the Hagel discussion. That style of play is admired and coveted around the league. And so, as a UFA, he’s got the right to explore if he wishes. But I’d say we’d be interested in bringing Sam back.’’
The 27-year old Lafferty is finishing his two-year deal with a $750,000 salary cap hit.
‘‘I’d love to come back. I love it here. It’s a really good fit. I love the city, I love the team, the organization — everything.’’
The Blackhawks also have pending UFAs in defensemen Calvin de Haan and Erik Gustafsson, forward Kurtis Gabriel, and goaltenders Kevin Lankinen and Collin Delia. Would only expect Lankinen and Delia have a shot at being back with the Blackhawks next year.
On the RFA side of things, Dylan Strome, Dominik Kubalik and Caleb Jones have arbitration rights while Kirby Dach, Philipp Kurashev and Reese Johnson don’t. They have four more RFAs at the AHL level including defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk.
‘‘It’s a really complicated thing when players have salary arbitration and what that number might look like,’’ Davidson said about Kubalik specifically. ‘‘And it’s even more complicated when that contract year was maybe not what it has been in the past.
‘‘We’ll get into that with their agent and see where things land and try to determine if that fits the financial structure.’’