Blackhawks winger Dominik Kubalik is one of the more interesting wingers that currently is in trade speculation. He’s only two years removed from a 30-goal campaign and still has another year of team control remaining through arbitration. However, he isn’t having a particularly strong year and that qualifying offer stands at $4MM, a high price for someone whose production is on pace for a 31-point season. Accordingly, Mark Lazerus of The Athletic pegs (subscription link) the 26-year-old as a deadline enigma. If Kubalik has his way, he’d like to stick around with Chicago and not be moved:
Chicago gave me an opportunity to be in the NHL and I love it there. So I’d love to stay.
The question for Blackhawks interim GM Kyle Davidson will be figuring out where the line is between opting for what would probably be an underwhelming trade return (relative to how he played a couple of years ago as a rookie) and where the smarter play would be to keep and qualify him this summer to give him one more chance. In the meantime, Kubalik will have another month to try to up his value both on the trade and contract front.
More from the Central Division:
- Blues defenseman Marco Scandella traveled with the team on their road trip and could play at some point in this four-game stretch, notes Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The veteran is dealing with a lower-body injury and missed his first game of the season over the weekend. Meanwhile, the same can’t be said for fellow blueliner Scott Perunovich as Timmermann notes the youngster won’t be on the trip as he continues to battle an upper-body injury. At this point, with Perunovich already being out for a month, a short-term stint in the minors seems likely when he is cleared to return.
- Avalanche blueliner Jacob MacDonald has been cleared for contact as he works his way back from an injury that has kept him out of the lineup for more than two months, relays Peter Baugh of The Athletic (Twitter link). The 28-year-old has been limited to just seven games this season and is currently on LTIR. Even with this step, MacDonald is still likely at least a couple of weeks away from returning.