Well, so much for the report that there were several teams interested in Cody Franson. The veteran defenseman has cleared waivers for the Chicago Blackhawks, and has been assigned to the Rockford IceHogs. It doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t be traded in the coming days, as we’ve seen previously with players immediately after they clear waivers. In his place, the Blackhawks have recalled Erik Gustafsson.
Gustafsson hasn’t played in an NHL game in nearly two years, but is still just 25 and has been playing exceptionally well at the AHL level. The Swedish defenseman has 17 points in 25 games for Rockford, and has earned another shot with the big club. Amazingly, Brent Seabrook is the defenseman who stayed out late after practice today according to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times and could be a scratch for tonight’s Blackhawks’ game.
Seabrook of course has six more seasons on his current contract at a cap hit of $6.88MM, and holds a full no-trade clause through 2021-22. His decline has been rapid and unfortunate for the Blackhawks, who don’t have the luxury of wasting cap space while still paying Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane some of the highest salaries in the league.