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Five players the Chicago Blackhawks Should Target in Free Agency

The Chicago Blackhawks enter the offseason with $30,000,000 in cap space for next season, needing to make major improvements to their roster. Despite being a bottom three team the past two seasons, Chicago has some optimism heading into next year. They have a new franchise face in Connor Bedard and exciting prospects expected to make a full time jump to the NHL level. The Blackhawks were one of the least talented teams in the NHL this past season and desperately need to change that. Additionally, they need to surround Connor Bedard with some stars to continue aiding his development. Let’s look at the names that are Chicago Blackhawks free agent targets come July 1.

The Five Free Agents The Blackhawks Should Target This Offseason

#1- Teuvo Teravainen

The first Blackhawks free agent target is a familiar face. Starting this list is former Blackhawks forward Teuvo Teravainen. Teuvo is coming off a career high 25-goal season with the Carolina Hurricanes. The 29-year old bounced back this season after an injury riddled 2022-2023 season. While never blossoming into the star fans had hoped, Teravainen has been a key part to Carolina’s success in recent years. 

The Hawks need to add to their top six. Someone like Teravainen would be great to add alongside Connor Bedard or Frank Nazar due to his great passing ability. Even though Chicago might be deterred by his age, Teravainen wouldn’t break the bank contract wise, and is still a very good addition to any team’s top six. 

#2- Jake Guentzel

Another Carolina Hurricane joins the list. Guentzel’s stellar performance in Carolina following his trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins at the trade deadline will make him one of the most coveted free agents in the class. Guentzel has developed into an elite goal scorer in recent years and his contract will reflect that. Getting Connor Bedard a player of Guentzel’s caliber on a long term deal would be great to accelerate his development. 

Guentzel also brings experience to Chicago, being a Stanley cup champion in Pittsburgh. Also he got to learn from Sidney Crosby during his time in Pittsburgh, which should be an automatic sign that Chicago needs his experience on the roster. Guentzel will be the most expensive free agent we cover today, but that doesn’t change anything.

#3- Tyler Bertuzzi

Bertuzzi would be a nice upgrade for the Hawks. He’s a good goal scorer while also playing a physical brand of hockey that the Hawks could use. His gritty style would be a good fit in the Hawks system. Additionally, Bertuzzi would play the role of protecting the Hawks younger players like Connor Bedard, who constantly gets targeted.

Tyler Bertuzzi would likely earn a contract worth around $5,000,o00 per season. Bertuzzi will be in the market for a long term deal after failing to get one last offseason. Bertuzzi has struggled with injuries in the past, playing a career high in games this year in Toronto. His injury past could turn Chicago away from him, however if he’s available at a good price, Chicago should jump at the opportunity.

#4- Alexandre Carrier

Carrier is a very under the radar candidate for the Blackhawks in free agency. Carrier is able to make up for his lack of size with his mobility and puck movement. He will also be able to play on the Hawks power play due to his powerful shot from the point. The Hawks need to get better on the backend, so adding a piece like Carrier would be nice. Also taking a player from the Nashville Predators is always fun.

With Carrier only being 27 year old, you can also be hopeful he can turn into a stable part of the teams future core. Chicago has some young defensemen looking to taking the full time jump to the NHL, so having a stable piece like Carrier could be nice. While not a very flashy option, Carrier is as solid as they come.

#5- Ryan Lomberg

Lomberg is a typical bottom six player who plays a big leadership role on the Florida Panthers. Lomberg is a gritty enforcer who will not produce many points, but will make an impact on a game with his toughness. Panthers coach Paul Maurice even praised Lomberg for his leadership and role on Florida.

Lomberg would be a nice addition to a Hawks team that could use some more toughness in the lineup. With Lomberg only producing 7 points in 75 games this season, he will be a cheap contract. Similar to Bertuzzi, Lomberg could be used as a bodyguard for the Hawks younger players.

With lots of cap space this offseason, the Blackhawks should look to add more in free agency. The team is trying to climb out of the basement of the league and show some signs of life. Whether Kyle Davidson wants to add a big name or a depth piece in free agency, the Hawks need to add.

Main Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

 

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Aron Kiviharju

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