3 Blackhawks Offseason Extension Candidates

During this past summer, the Chicago Blackhawks showed that they aren’t afraid to sign players to extensions early. You can see the difference immediately. acquiring top-pairing defenseman Seth JonesThe Columbus Blue Jackets have signed the 27 year-old to an $8 million, eight-year extension. This was done before he even played a game with Chicago and so far, it’s been working out for the team. He has scored three goals in 35 games and has 25 points.

Now, when looking at this upcoming summer, there’s a good chance that we could see the Blackhawks sign a few more players to extensions. They have some very important players who will be out of contract after next season. It would be wise for them to secure at least one of these players early. Blackhawks could find themselves in a very stressful offseason in 2023, with massive changes.

Before beginning, it’s important to note that players with expiring deals after this season will not be discussed. These are the top three Blackhawks extension candidates.

Patrick Kane

Patrick Kane’s contract will expire after the 2021-22 season. Since Kane, 33 years old, has been the team’s number one winger for more than a decade. It is therefore necessary to include him on this list. The Blackhawks may be having another disappointing year, but they should continue to work hard to make sure that the Buffalo native is successful in Chicago.

Patrick Kane, Chicago BlackhawksJess Starr/The Hockey Writers

Kane’s Hall of Fame-worthy career began when he was selected by the Blackhawks as the first overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Many consider him the greatest American-born player, including Shaun Filippelli. He has played in 1,060 games for the team and scored 411 goals, 708 assists, as well as 1,119 points. With this, he’s also third all-time in points with the team. Yet, even with him getting older, he isn’t showing any signs of regression. At this point in the season, he currently has seven goals as well as 31 points from 31 contests. Once again, he’s putting up elite numbers and is Chicago’s top player.

Kane must be available if the Blackhawks are to have a chance at becoming a playoff team. He is also a veteran with the ability to secure a multiyear deal. Chicago should do the same with him.

Alex DeBrincat

Alex DeBrincat, another prominent player with the Blackhawks, has an expiring contract. The 24-year-old winger thankfully will still be a restricted free agent, so the Blackhawks will have control over him if they do not extend him before it’s over. However, when seeing as how he’s blossomed into a star sniper at the NHL level, the Blackhawks should act quickly to lock him up long-term. He’s the kind of player they should be building their future around.

Related: Three Former Blackhawks Are Having Great Years, 3 Who are Struggling

DeBrincat has thrived despite the Blackhawks’ woes this season. DeBrincat has scored an impressive 21 goals in just 35 games, along with six assisters. The assists are low, sure, but that doesn’t ultimately matter when looking at how much he’s scoring. Blackhawks have made a huge deal with the 2016 second round pick. He should be paid well for this. He will likely earn more than the $6.4 million cap. He’s worth the raise.

Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews, a veteran of the NHL who is also a well-known name, will be eligible to receive an extension this summer. The Blackhawks are fortunate that the longtime captain will be ending his current contract at the end of next season. The 33-year-old center’s $10.5 million cap hit will soon be off the books, and they will be able to spend money elsewhere. Yet, that doesn’t mean Chicago should let him go once it expires. It would be smart to keep him around but with a lower deal. He’s still a very solid two-way center and needs to retire as a member of the Blackhawks.

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks),Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers

Toews could be signed by the Blackhawks to an immediate extension. It would likely only be for a limited time. The 2020-21 season was missed by the veteran center. Due to Chronic Inflammatory Reaction SyndromeIt may be a good idea to sign shorter deals in the future. He has also had a slow start to the season with only four goals and 11 assists in 35 matches. He may have missed a whole season so it is possible that he could bounce back. However, even if this kind of production becomes the norm from him, he certainly wouldn’t be a bad option to keep around for the middle-six beyond next season.

It will be fascinating to see what the Blackhawks do with these players. DeBrincat is the player with the best future, but the other two are the reason for their three Stanley Cups in 2010. Toews, Kane, and Toews are eligible for extensions if the Blackhawks desire to keep this core intact. One could argue that their contracts could be ending, which could open the door for a new beginning. This is especially true considering their struggles over the past few seasons. We will have to wait to see what happens, but this season does have the potential for being another wild one.

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