The Chicago Blackhawks made a major move on Thursday, moving veteran and newly retired forward Marian Hossa to the Arizona Coyotes in a massive trade involving several players to the Arizona Coyotes. The Blackhawks also sent defenseman Jordan Oesterle and a third-round pick in the 2019 draft to the Coyotes for forwards Marcus Kruger, MacKenzie Entwistle and Jordan Maletta, defenceman Andrew Campbell and a fifth-round pick in next year’s draft.
And the Hawks are not done... and they will be able to have fun with the remaining cap room.
NBC Sports' James O’Brien wonders what the Blackhawks will do next with the cap space freed up with yesterday's trade and lists an exciting option for Chicago and its passionate fan base. While he does mention that Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty, Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner and defenseman Justin Faulk and Ottawa Senators blueliner Erik Karlsson as the most enticing trade targets, he also believes the Hawks could want to bring back former star player and now Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin.
Yeah, that's an exciting one.
Panarin was one of the biggest turning point in the Blue Jackets' recent success but the happy story may be short lived after several trade rumors emerged at the start of the summer. A recent report from NHL insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that Panarin told the Blue Jackets that he’s not interested in signing a contract extension “at this time" and as a result the Jackets placed Panarin on the trade block.
The announcement of a possible trade surprised many, especially since the Russian has one year remaining on his current deal and is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2018-19 campaign. However, the Hawks would love nothing more but to bring Panarin back to Chicago, where he found great success with forward Patrick Kane.
On top of his contract hesitation, Panarin also revealed why he might not want to sign a deal with the Jackets. It is recently been reported that Panarin is looking to play for a bigger market team as Larry Brooks explained it in a recent article in the The New York Post.
"Artemi Panarin’s decision not to engage in negotiations for an extension with the Blue Jackets was motivated solely by his desire to play and live in a major market. You (and more to the point, he) can take it to the bank that the Rangers will be all in if the transcendent Bread Man reaches free agency next summer."
This sounds all very promising to the Blackhawks, however, O'Brien believes it might be quite the challenge for the team to afford to land any of the aforementioned targets, especially Panarin.
O’Brien considers Faulk as perhaps “the best consideration of them all”, as he would provide much-needed depth to the Blackhawks defense corps. He also carries an affordable $4.83-million annual cap hit through 2019-20, whereas the others are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer and could be brought in only to be lost once again on July 1st 2019...