Before Monday’s trade deadline, many expected that Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan would be on the move but a deal never materialized. Now that he’s still in Chicago, the veteran recently told reporters including Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times that he’d to stay there beyond this season. De Haan is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and will assuredly wind up with a contract that’s considerably cheaper than his current $4.55MM AAV. The 30-year-old has just five points in 59 games this season but is second on the team in blocked shots with 147 while logging over 19 minutes per contest. However, while de Haan would like to stay in Chicago, the team has young left-shot blueliners Wyatt Kalynuk, Riley Stillman, Alex Vlasic, and Caleb Jones in their system already that are all 24 or younger. For a team committing to a rebuild, it may make more sense to play them more and not bring de Haan back next season.
Elsewhere in the Central:
- The Coyotes will have to wait a while for Jack McBain to make his NHL debut. Head coach Andre Tourigny told Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports (Twitter link) that the 22-year-old’s ankle injury may take longer to heal than expected; instead of him being out for a few days, it could be a few weeks. From a contractual standpoint, McBain’s first year will be burned regardless of whether or not he plays but Arizona would certainly like to get him into some game action to evaluate his readiness for next season.
- With the Predators opting not to trade Filip Forsberg at the trade deadline, Gentry Estes of The Tennessean suggests that Nashville has no real choice but to hand the winger the money he’s seeking to sign a long-term extension. With their last chance to trade him for any value now gone (a negotiating rights trade wouldn’t bring back much), the scribe posits that Forsberg could easily up his asking price with the team no longer having a lot of leverage in discussions. Of course, Forsberg’s play in itself is only making that price go higher as he has 36 goals and 28 assists in 52 games this season; he’s the leading goal-getter among pending unrestricted free agents.