When the Blackhawks made a four-player trade with the Edmonton Oilers in December, the main part of the equation for the Blackhawks was that they got Brandon Manning's two-year contract off the books without having to give up an asset or retain salary.
The surprising part of the deal was the Blackhawks also getting Drake Caggiula, who was well-respected by his teammates and somebody Connor McDavid enjoyed playing with because he does all the dirty work. Caggiula was Edmonton's loss and the Blackhawks' gain.
But it's unclear what kind of role Caggiula will have going forward. He's best suited in a bottom-six role but can play in the top-six if needed — we saw it last season when he played on the top line with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
The challenge is, there is a logjam at the forward position right now and a handful of guys battling for the same spot when training camp rolls around. Caggiula isn't sweating it, though, and he shouldn't. He should be an everyday player because he checks a lot of boxes the Blackhawks were looking to address this offseason.
“Honestly, I haven’t really thought about it that much," Caggiula said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "It’s one of those things where you just show up to camp and wherever you start in camp is where you start. You obviously want to work your way up or if you’re at the top, you want to make sure you stay there. We have some healthy competition in the locker room. Everyone is fighting for more opportunities and bigger roles and all that sort of stuff, and I think that’s just going to add to the competitiveness of our team and make our team a lot better.
"When I was playing with Kaner and Toews last year, I thought I left a pretty good imprint and left a good impression there but it was a short sample size and if I get that opportunity last year, I would like to make the most of it. With that being said, I’m very comfortable playing very different roles and playing anywhere throughout the lineup. I’m one of those guys that whatever the coach asks you to do, you just kind of go out and do it and do it the best you can. You get rewarded for doing that and eventually hopefully move up the lineup as well.”
Check out the interview in the video above.