In the Chicago Blackhawks world this week, there is a lot of speculation, and that’s the name of the game at the moment. The NHL Draft and free agency are just around the corner. The draft will be on Oct. 6-7, while free agency will start on Oct. 9. The Blackhawks haven’t done anything earth-shattering, although there is still a lot of time before those two events for something to happen. That leaves us with some interesting rumors to sort through. We also have some news to report on. Here’s the latest from Chicago:
Calder Trophy Results
The NHL announced the winners of its awards before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sept. 21. Most Blackhawks’ fans were anxiously awaiting to hear who won the Calder Trophy, which is awarded to the league’s best rookie.
Chicago left-winger Dominik Kubalik was nominated. He was joined by defensemen Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes of the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks, respectively. Makar ended up receiving the award, while Hughes finished second in votes and Kubalik finished third. Congratulations to Makar on the win! All three men were very deserving of the award, so there was no bad choice to be made.
In Chicago’s eyes, Kubalik still gets the nod, trophy or not. He led all rookies with 30 goals. For perspective, no other rookie had more than 20 goals. The 25-year-old had a tremendous season and he can only go up from here. There’s no denying that there could be plenty of league awards in his future. Plus, the fun doesn’t stop there. Kubalik was also named to the All-Rookie team, which is made up of the best rookies at each position in the NHL. Go Kuby Go!
If you are looking for more team merchandise to add to your wardrobe, you don’t want to miss out on this.
The Blackhawks’ Store announced on Sept. 21 that a new hat has launched. It’s an Alex DeBrincat-style cap. The best part? It’s for a great cause.
As you can see, all the proceeds from the hat will go to the Blackhawks’ foundation. Happy shopping! Now, onto the rumors.
There have been a few rumors I have come across on Twitter that won’t go away, and they have to do with defensemen. It’s apparent that Chicago was one of the worst defensive teams in the league this season. They allowed the most shots against per game, at 35.1. Adding defensemen Olli Maatta from the Pittsburgh Penguins and Calvin de Haan from the Carolina Hurricanes last summer weren’t enough. It has been very tough to find the recipe for success within the defensive group.
But, there are two names in the rumor mill that are adding some spice to the Blackhawks’ recipe.
Torey Krug is 29 years old and has been with the Boston Bruins for his entire career thus far. But with him hitting free agency, his status with the team is up in the air. Krug’s career plus/minus is plus-23, and he would most definitely be a nice addition.
However, I don’t see this happening. Chicago is still stuck with their high salary cap and Krug is a player that could potentially garner a big payday. This is because he still has plenty left in the tank, which brings us to the second rumor:
Michael Russo, the Minnesota Wild writer for The Athletic, posted an article on Sept. 17 that highlighted Matt Dumba trade theories. From it, there is a quote that stands out:
Some potential darkhorses that could use Dumba: Edmonton, Chicago, Columbus and Los Angeles.from ‘Wild depth chart 2.0: Eric Staal trade fallout, Matt Dumba theories and more’ The AthleticNHL – 09/17/2020
Dumba is 26 years old and he signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the Wild back in 2018. Again, like Krug, Dumba would be a welcomed addition. He is young and gritty – two elements the Hawks could use on defense. But, I agree with Russo. Chicago is certainly a dark horse in a Dumba equation.
Is defensive help a need for the Blackhawks? Absolutely. However, unless general manager Stan Bowman starts clearing money somehow, I don’t see how the team could possibly take on Krug or Dumba at the moment. But hey, plenty of unexpected things happen in hockey. Nothing is impossible.
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I don’t know what to make of these rumors. I don’t know if this is pure speculation or if there is some truth to it. Rumors like these that involve same-position players can make you wonder if the Blackhawks may be looking at shaking up the defensive core again. It could include Krug or Dumba, or it could be an entirely different player. It’s definitely food for thought.
We’re heading into some crucial weeks with the draft and free agency coming up. Expect new rumors, trade talk, and more!
Just a small town girl with Midwestern charm; combined with a love of dogs, writing, frappuccinos, Chicago-isms, sports, and a whole lot of Blackhawks hockey. Twitter: @brooke_lofo.