Chicago Blackhawks’ General Manager Stan Bowman said last month that big changes were coming to the Chicago Blackhawks roster after their second consecutive first round exit. Lemont, IL native, goaltender Scott Darling was already traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for a draft pick, and more moves are on the way according to one NHL insider.
The expansion draft is set to take place on June 18, and approaching quickly, moves are going to be made soon. It seems like the Blackhawks are going to shake things up one way or another. As far as Trevor van Riemsdyk and Marcus Kruger are concerned they have become expendable for a number of different reasons.
Trevor van Riemsdyk has been in and out of coach Joel Quenneville‘s dog house since he entered the league in 2015. Kruger was injured most of the 2015-2016 season and was inconsistent this past season. Unless your name is Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, or Duncan Keith you can be moved. That’s what Bowman’s mindset is and what it should be.
Kruger is usually valuable on the penalty kill, but not for the amount of money the ‘Hawks are paying him. It would be wise to get his contract off the books, which will allow Bowman to get creative in free agency this summer. The Blackhawks have several young forwards ready to get some playing time in the NHL. More likely than not, one of them would be able to fill in for Kruger on the PK.
Retooling is something the Hawks need to take seriously. The rest of the NHL had caught up with them and what they do. It’s time for changes to be made. The Central Division isn’t going to get any easier moving forward either. Nashville is on the verge of potentially winning a Stanley Cup, Minnesota will be good in the coming seasons, and Mike Yeo and the St. Louis Blues could become dangerous if they make the right moves this offseason.
Again, the NHL has caught up to the ‘Hawks in recent seasons, evident by a pair of consecutive first round exits at the hands of Central Division foes. It’s time to bring in a new group of players to compliment the core group, now more than ever.