While Chicago made an announcement today regarding their plans to rebuild (a process that was already underway), don’t expect an exodus of veterans leaving the team either. Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic reports in the latest TSN Insider Trading (video link) that the Blackhawks intend on holding on to veterans Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook and having them as part of the core that will lead them out of this rebuilding phase. Toews made his frustrations known earlier this offseason with the lack of communication about this direction although GM Stan Bowman has spoken with that core leadership group. It remains to be seen how long this plan will take in Chicago but it appears that they will be keeping their long-time veterans around for the process.
Elsewhere around the hockey world:
- In the same segment, LeBrun mentions that while AHL President Scott Howson believes that his league will ultimately push back their start date to mirror the NHL, there are some NHL teams pushing for the AHL to stick to their December timeline. While it wouldn’t be ideal from a financial perspective given the inability to have many (or any) fans and no notable television contract, it would certainly be good from a player development standpoint for teams to get more of their prospects playing.
- Kevin Ebbs, the agent for Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, told David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period that his client is disappointed with the status of contract negotiations so far. The 26-year-old is coming off a career year offensively with 18 points in 45 games while averaging over 20 minutes a night for the first time as well. That has him well-positioned to land a raise on the $1.6MM he made last season in his final year of RFA eligibility. Weegar is one of three players that are scheduled for an arbitration hearing on November 8th so there is still a fair bit of time to reach an agreement beforehand.