David Pagnotta’s Trade Watch List for the 2021-22 season includes Calvin de Haan. This is understandable, as the 30-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA), and the Chicago Blackhawks are completely out of the playoff picture. However, Pagnotta also noted that several teams are potentially linked to the veteran defenseman. With general manager Kyle Davidson openly stating that the team is set to begin a rebuild, this is a very good development.
de Haan is one of the Blackhawks’ top rental candidates, so they should be working very hard to move him before the deadline. Even if he isn’t expected to bring in a game-changing return, they need to build up their assets for the future. Now that reports have suggested he’s getting plenty of interest around the league, it seems that a move should be on the way shortly.
Teams Reportedly Linked to de Haan
In Pagnotta’s piece, he noted that the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights, and Washington Capitals are all reportedly interested; that’s an impressive ten teams. Some of them have limited cap space, too, so that makes it even more interesting.
de Haan hasn’t been particularly strong this season, as he has one goal, four assists, and a minus-18 rating. With that, he has a $4.55 million cap hit, so he doesn’t come cheap, either. The Blackhawks would likely need to retain salary in any swap. However, even with this all being the case, there are still plenty of teams considering him.
Here’s Why de Haan is Receiving Attention
de Haan may not be having a season to remember, but he still has the potential to be a solid addition to a playoff team. Even if he has had his struggles this season, he would still be a good fit on most teams’ bottom defensive pairing. He is not only known for his reliable, defense-first style of play but he can also be utilized on both sides, which teams are always in the hunt for.
Related: Maple Leafs Should Target Blackhawks’ Murphy & de Haan
Furthermore, he has plenty of NHL experience. In 502 career games, between the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, and Blackhawks, the 2009 first-round pick has 16 goals, 100 assists, and a plus-3 rating. With that, he also has played 37 career postseason games. A playoff veteran is always a major perk when it comes to defensemen. All of these reasons make him appealing on the trade market.
de Haan’s Trade Value Could Go Up
With so much interest in de Haan, his trade value could be on the rise. Although he will not net the Blackhawks a first-round pick, they could acquire a third-round pick for him. Teams may be willing to overpay just a bit to successfully land him for a playoff push.
With the Blackhawks looking to rebuild, getting a solid return for de Haan feels crucial. Marc-Andre Fleury has made it known that he does not want to be traded, and the team is likely to respect that. Other pending UFAs like Kevin Lankinen, Ryan Carpenter, Sam Lafferty, and Erik Gustafsson aren’t expected to bring in as much as de Haan, either. The team needs to take advantage of the high interest in him before the deadline to recoup assets.
A de Haan Trade Feels Inevitable
At the end of the day, a deal centering around de Haan seems inevitable. When a rental is receiving so much attention from contenders, it becomes a “not if but when” kind of situation. It may take a bit of time before a trade comes to fruition, however. There are still several big-name defensemen available, and teams will likely try to acquire them first. Yet, the Blackhawks will still likely trade de Haan by the end of the month, and management will be hoping that the veteran can have a handful of good games from here.
Alas, with so many teams linked to de Haan, it will be interesting to see where he ends up. Although he isn’t the flashiest of players available, his immense experience and overall dependability is something that many playoff-contending teams would benefit from having at their disposal.