The Chicago Blackhawks have had a nightmare season and chief among the underachievers has been Dominik Kubalik. The 26-year-old forward has just 11 goals and 21 points in 61 games, a far cry from the 30-goal season he put up as a rookie in 2019-20. With that disappointing season getting even worse of late–Kubalik has just one goal and four points in his last 18 games–his name started to rise in trade speculation recently and is now a prime candidate to be moved in the coming days.
Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Blackhawks are “making progress” on a Kubalik trade, with the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers as frontrunners. Whoever does acquire the enigmatic winger is getting a player on the last year of his current contract that will be a restricted free agent and eligible for arbitration in the summer. Kubalik will be owed a $4MM qualifying offer just to retain his rights as an RFA.
- Another top deadline target, Mark Giordano, isn’t expected to play tonight for the Seattle Kraken as they look to protect their asset. The 38-year-old defenseman is supposed to be honored for playing 1,000 games–a mark he hit on the road earlier this month–but will apparently have to do it in street clothes as head coach Dave Hakstol told reporters Giordano won’t be in the lineup. Already confirmed to be heading somewhere, the 2019 Norris Trophy winner should bring Seattle a strong package of assets despite his age and expiring contract.
- Jake Sanderson was expected to join the Ottawa Senators after his college career ended, but the young defenseman has suffered another injury that could potentially jeopardize that. Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald reports that Sanderson will miss the NCHC Frozen Faceoff and is out week-to-week with this new issue. Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia adds that the Senators’ medical staff has reached out to the University of North Dakota staff to get a full report and there is some concern that he could be out “a while.” Sanderson was limited to just 23 games for UND this season, while missing time at both the World Juniors (which was eventually canceled) and the Olympics (in which he played just one game because of COVID and injury issues).