Last week, we took a look at three players that we can look forward to seeing in the future for the Chicago Blackhawks. This week, we're taking a look at three Blackhawk players that need to be gone at the start of the next season. At this point the rebuild seems to be more and more of a reality as the year goes on, and these players for one reason or another shouldn't be a part of it. Let's take a look.
1. Brent Seabrook
Seabrook just signed a new contract with the Blackhawks in the 2016-2017 season. The contract is worth $55 million over eight seasons. Already it seems that the money should have been used on someone else, and with a team that’s strapped against the cap every season, Seabrook’s contract was unwarranted. He hasn’t lived up to his contract this year and he’s already 32, meaning he’s more than likely on the downside of his career. I would chalk this up to one of the few bad moves that Stan Bowman and Co. have made over the years.
2. Brandon Saad
Considered to be the biggest offseason acquisition for the Blackhawks, he came over from Columbus in a trade that sent Artemi Panarin out. Both sides of the trade haven’t worked out for the Blackhawks, as Brandon Saad has not been able to replace the production of Panarin. He hasn’t been able to get near Panarin’s production even. Saad needs to get traded, as the Hawks seem to be getting closer and closer to a rebuild. The only benefit for the Hawks was it was a cap friendly trade, as Saad is under contract until the 2020/2021 season, whereas Panarin will be a free agent at the end of the season.
3. Connor Murphy
The worst offseason move that the Hawks made sent one of their best defenseman, Niklas Hjalmarsson, to the Coyotes for Connor Murphy. The sad part of the situation is this was caused by cap issues for the Hawks. By giving Seabrook the big contract, it left no room for Hjalmarsson to get the money he deserved. The Hawks should have given Hjalmarsson that contract and shipped Seabrook out, as it would have clearly been a better move. Either way, Connor Murphy is nowhere near the player Hjalmarsson is, and they should try to ship him out in the offseason for some more reliable help.
As the Hawks start to look more toward the future with the way this season has fallen apart, these players should be on their way out to make room for better players and more draft picks. We’ll have to see how the rest of the season plays out, but we can expect more big changes coming to the Blackhawks lineup in the offseason.