As per an article by Vegas Hockey Now, “The Chicago Blackhawks, a team expected to be sellers at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, could have multiple players the Golden Knights could be interested in.” This comes on the heels of a loss by the Golden Knights to the Los Angeles Kings in which the Knights are wondering if they are deep enough to make a long playoff run.
Vegas always seems to be in the mix when it comes to buyers ahead of any trade date. Often abandoning players who have helped them achieve a great deal of success in a relatively short time, the Golden Knights aren’t afraid to make a splash and the Blackhawks have a couple of players that are at or near the top of every insider’s trade board.
The article goes on to say, “The Chicago Blackhawks are last in the Western Conference and do not even have ten wins halfway through the season. They have 12 current roster players on expiring contracts, and will likely move some of these players at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline for picks and prospects.” It would make sense that teams like the Golden Knights would be looking towards a selling team that has already let the rest of the league know they’re willing to take on bad contracts.
For Vegas, they’ll have no choice but to move players out as they bring new faces in. If GM Kelly McCrimmon decides he wants to go after another big fish — Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are amongst the biggest this season — he’ll have to find a way to make room for a $10 million AAV contract. No doubt, Chicago will have to retain salary and potentially take a bad contract back, but Vegas might need a third team to hop in and facilitate a deal as a third-party broker.
Both Kane and Toews are pending UFAs and neither has made up their mind when it comes to their future in Chicago. As of now, each has stayed quiet and conversations between the team and the players aren’t believed to have taken place, but both have been vocal about not necessarily wanting to wait out the process of a rebuild.
What If Kane and Toews Are Too Expensive
Should either or both players be out of the range of what the Golden Knights can do, Chicago has a couple of other forwards that could be useful depth additions for Vegas. At $3 million AAV each, Andreas Athanasiou or Max Domi could be a nice backup plan. Domi has said he doesn’t want to leave Chicago, but he also understands the nature of the business and what it means that he signed a one-year deal.
Vegas currently has both Brett Howden and Zach Whitecloud on LTIR. Goaltender Robin Lehner, forward Nolan Patrick, and defenseman Shea Weber are out for the season. This gives the VGK $2.1 million in available cap currently.
Next: Max Domi Wants to Stick With Blackhawks Through Rebuild
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