Not long after Brad Richards signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings, another former Blackhawks center officially moved on from Chicago.
Antoine Vermette inked a two-year deal worth $7.5 million to return to the Arizona Coyotes, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.
The 32-year-old forward was acquired from the Coyotes in February for prospect Klas Dahlbeck and this year's first-round pick and helped the Blackhawks claim their third Stanley Cup since 2010 by scoring three game-winning goals in the final two rounds of the postseason.
[ROTOWORLD: NHL Free Agency Live Blog]
Due to cap restraints, it's no secret the Blackhawks are looking to shed salary rather than take on a rich contract. It always seemed like a long shot for them to bring back Vermette, who simply exceeded their price range.
Vermette was in the final year of a five-year contract, which carried a similar $3.75 million cap hit.
NHL draft analyst Steve Kournianos released his list for Top 50 players in NHL pipelines for the upcoming 2019-20 season. To the delight of Blackhawks fans everywhere, Adam Boqvist and Kirby Dach were ranked at number 10 and 13 respectively.
Kournianos described 19-year-old defender Boqvist as a dominant rookie with 40 assists and 20 goals during his tenure with the London Knights. Fans speculate whether the Blackhawks will keep Boqvist on his junior squad for another year or pull him up to play with the American Hockey League Rockford Ice Hogs.
Kournianos said Dach was one of Team Canada’s top players at the World Junior Summer Showcase. The 18-year-old center is sure to be one of Canada’s main forwards during World Juniors and Dach has the flexibility to play anywhere in the Blackhawks lineup. Dach’s entry-level contract allows him up to nine NHL games this season, giving him the chance to return to the AHL or NHL after his junior season in the Western Hockey League is finished.
Both Boqvist and Dach are key player for the future of this team and it will interesting to watch the Hawks develop these younger players.
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On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle catches up with Senior VP of Hockey Operations, Al MacIsaac. They discuss the process the Blackhawks took in transforming the roster this off-season. MacIsaac is entering his 20th year with the Blackhawks and talks about the organizational changes over the last two decades. He also weighs in on the role analytics plays in evaluating current or potential Blackhawks and he explains why the team made a commitment to make its new practice facility the “gold standard” of the NHL.
0:45 – MacIsaac on changes within the Blackhawks organization in the last 20 years
4:00 – How the Blackhawks have added great depth this summer
5:25 – A good problem to have with two good goaltenders
6:23 – How the hockey ops meeting went at the end of last season
8:45 – How much the Blackhawks use and rely on analytics
10:27 – The importance of the Blackhawks strength and conditioning programs
12:24 – The planning behind Fifth Third Arena’s development
14:40 – The dynamic between hockey ops and business ops
16:37 – Agreements and disagreements within the hockey ops group
18:32 – MacIsaac’s longtime relationship with Mark Bernard
20:27 – Looking ahead to training camp and the regular season
22:42 – Tough decisions will need to be made when the season starts
Listen here or in the embedded player below.
Blackhawks Talk Podcast