3 Blackhawks Surprisingly Not Moved at 2022 Trade Deadline

When the Chicago Blackhawks hired general manager Kyle Davidson, he announced that the team would embark on a rebuild. So far, he has stayed true to his word; he traded Brandon Hagel, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Ryan Carpenter before the deadline and added some very good assets in the process. The rebuild seems to be off to a solid start, yet they also surprisingly kept some players who were expected to be traded. Here’s a look.

Dominik Kubalik

Dominik Kubalik was one of the most-talked-about trade targets before the deadline. The 26-year-old winger will be a restricted free agent (RFA) this summer, and he is only one year away from being eligible to become an unrestricted free agent (UFA). Thus, there were plenty of rumblings that the rebuilding team would move him.

Dominik Kubalik, Chicago Blackhawks
Dominik Kubalik, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Yet, Kubalik is still a member of the Blackhawks. Management was asking for a second-round pick for him, so perhaps they couldn’t find a team willing to pay the price. He is having a down season, with 11 goals, 11 assists, and a minus-19 rating in 63 contests. With this, his trade value is lower than it has ever been in his three-year career. Chicago is likely banking on him bouncing back before the campaign is done, which could spark an offseason move.

If Kubalik can find his old form, he could become a very good trade asset. He scored 30 goals during his rookie season just two years ago and followed it up with a 38-point campaign in 56 games during the 2020-21 season. As a result, he has shown that he can be a top-six winger in the league, so let’s see if he can rebound from here. If he does, Davidson should have no trouble finding an acceptable trade package for him during the summer.

Calvin de Haan

That Calvin de Haan is still with the Blackhawks is very surprising. There were reportedly 10 teams interested in him, so it seemed like a no-brainer that the 30-year-old would be moved. Yet, even though he’s a pending UFA on a losing team, he will finish the season in Chicago.

Related: Blackhawks Receiving Calls About Patrick Kane’s Availability

Although there was plenty of interest in de Haan, his $4.55 million cap hit might have been the main obstacle in finalizing a deal. At this juncture, he is more of a bottom-pairing player, and his salary is high for what he provides, and yet there were plenty of teams at least considering the possibility of adding the Ottawa native.

de Haan will now aim to end this season on a strong note. He has also had a down year, with one goal, four assists, and a minus-16 rating in 57 games. Yet, his veteran experience and solid defensive play should be enough for him to land a new contract for next season, whether it’s with the Blackhawks or elsewhere.

Kevin Lankinen

So many teams were looking for a goaltender at the deadline, so it’s a little surprising that Kevin Lankinen did not find himself a new home. The Blackhawks did trade Fleury, so perhaps that might be the reason why they kept the 26-year-old. However, it was a risky decision as he is also a pending UFA, and they could lose the Finnish netminder for nothing this summer.

Kevin Lankinen Chicago Blackhawks
Kevin Lankinen, Chicago Blackhawks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Lankinen has struggled this season, however. In 17 appearances, he sports a 3-8-4 record, 3.51 goals-against average (GAA), and .889 save percentage (SV%). It’s not what the Blackhawks expected from him after his excellent rookie campaign last season. Yet, with Fleury gone, he will at least have the opportunity to be a starter again. Perhaps playing more consistently will result in him finding his previous form.

With teams like the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and even New Jersey Devils all in need of goaltending help, it’s surprising that Davidson didn’t flip Lankinen for a draft pick or prospect. Perhaps the Blackhawks view him as their starting goaltender of the future, despite a bad season, but it will also depend on whether they can come to terms on a new contract. If not, keeping him past the deadline will make little sense.

Although the Blackhawks did not make as many trades as people expected, they have still started their rebuild, and the offseason will be when the team makes significant changes to their roster. Until then, these three and the rest of the team will be staying put. Let’s see how they all perform from here.

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