It seems that I’m just sitting in here refreshing Twitter, waiting for trade updates from Bob McKenzie and Elliotte Friedman. With nothing big happening besides the Noah Hanifin trade at the draft, I’m left waiting for noon on July 1st. The possibility of the Blackhawks getting Justin Faulk diminished a bit after the draft, but I’m sure Stan Bowman will try and make a splash during free agency, here’s three guys Chicago should make a run at.
This isn’t really big news, but it’s been rumored that Ward is already going to sign a 1-year deal with Chicago. The Hawks really need a veteran goaltender in case Corey Crawford’s condition keeps him out longer than expected. Ward isn’t an “elite” goalie, but he has experience that could go a long way with a team that struggled with goaltending last season. Ward’s stats don’t jump off the page at you, but he boasted a 23-14 record and appeared in 43 games. Cam Ward is definitely a top goalie on the market that will keep Chicago in games.
James van Riemsdyk
Toronto has put almost all their eggs in one basket going after John Tavares and if they do land him, the Leafs will most likely not have enough cap space to re-sign van Riemsdyk. JVR had his career high in goals this year, 36, and putting him on a line with Toews or Kane would increase production for all parties. The best part about van Riemsdyk is the Hawks wouldn’t have to move a big contract to make room for him. Many teams need a power forward and are pushing for van Riemsdyk, so they’ll have to make a great case if they’re serious about getting him.
I really like Ian Cole and think he’d be a good fit for Chicago. He plays physically and shuts down forwards in his own end. The downside is that Cole isn’t much of a threat offensively, only putting up 20 points this past season. Cole already has 2 Stanley Cups under his belt with Pittsburgh and the Blackhawks could always use another guy with playoff experience to help lead the youth of this team. I sound like a broken record, but the Blackhawks need help on the blue line, especially for the defensive aspect, and Ian Cole fits the role perfectly.
Chicago needs to make a splash to get back on the map in 2018-19. These players could strengthen some of their weak spots. Some other players I could see Bowman talking to are Calvin de Haan, Jay Beagle, and John Moore. Hopefully I get some excitement this Sunday.