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kyle davidson indicated it was time for the Chicago Blackhawks to engage in a rebuild when he took over as general manager on March 1. Since then, Alex DeBrincat’s future has become the growing focus of media business speculation.
face to face daily frank seravalli has DeBrincat at the top of his list of offseason trade targets. He believes it is a matter of “when” rather than “if” the 24-year-old left winger is moved. Seravalli considers him the Blackhawks’ best trade chip for the kind of return that will allow them to accumulate future assets.
Coming off his second 40-goal season in his fifth year in the NHL, DeBrincat is a talented offensive end. He would attract considerable interest from teams that need a scoring hit.
DeBrincat’s contract it is another reason why it has become the subject of commercial conjecture. He has one year left on his contract with an average annual value of $6.4 million and will be a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights. Because he will earn a real salary of $9 million for 2022-23, the Blackhawks will have a hard time qualifying the rights to him.
Speaking of free agency, DeBrincat will also be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility next summer. If the Blackhawks’ rebuilding process looks long, he could opt for a one-year deal that closes the gap until his UFA eligibility and then sign a playoff contender. Davidson could also decide he’s too expensive to re-sign and buy him out for the best possible return.
What kind of return would Davidson be looking for if he puts DeBrincat on the trading block? nbc sports adam gretz
he suggested that the asking price could include a first-round pick, a “really good” prospect or young NHL player, and perhaps “some NHL roster filler.” The Blackhawks traded their first round pick in this year’s draft last summer, so Davidson might be interested in acquiring one.
The best trade partners for Davidson would be teams that have depth in draft picks, prospects and young talent to meet his asking price. They should also have enough cap space to take over DeBrincat’s contract for 2022-23 and be able to sign him to a new deal next summer.
Here’s a look at five possible landing spots for DeBrincat and the kind of return the Blackhawks could look for. Feel free to express your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below.
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Under general manager Steve Yzerman, the Detroit Red Wings have been patiently building up young talent. However, it has been six years since they last qualified for the playoffs. It may be time for Yzerman to make a big move for someone like DeBrincat, which could help his team get back in the postseason.
The Wings already have two top six left wingers in Tyler Bertuzzi and Jakub Vrana. Bertuzzi, however, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and may be reluctant to sign a contract extension. With 2.77 goals per game ranking 25th this season, Yzerman should add more muscle to his offense.
Perhaps a deal can be made with the Blackhawks that involves a one-for-one trade of Bertuzzi for DeBrincat. However, given the former’s UFA status next year, the Hawks might prefer a package that includes the Red Wings’ 2022 first-round pick (eighth overall), one of their top prospects and perhaps young winger (and 2018 first-round pick) Filip Zadina.
The Wings have $35.8 million in salary-cap space to 2022-23 with 15 players under contract. That gives Yzerman more than enough room to add DeBrincat and still make other additions as needed. He too would have enough in 2023-24 to tattoo the winger in a lucrative long-term extension.
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The Los Angeles Kings exceeded expectations this season by making the playoffs for the first time in four years. General manager Rob Blake was rebuilding with young talent amassed within his system. However, last summer’s acquisitions of veteran forwards Phillip Danault and Viktor Arvidsson played a key role in leading the Kings to the postseason.
Blake might be tempted to add another established player like DeBrincat. At 2.87 goals per game (20th overall), they may not have qualified for the 2022 playoffs without his solid goal Y defensive game. A sniper like DeBrincat alongside Danault or Captain Anze Kopitar in the top two lines could be a welcome catalyst on offense.
Sitting with the 19th overall pick in this year’s draft, Blake could offer that pick as part of a package for a skilled young scorer like DeBrincat. If he’s reluctant to part with him, he has considerable prospect depth to draw on to tempt the Blackhawks. Blake probably won’t part ways with top prospect Quinton Byfield, but maybe he’ll consider bringing in someone like Brandt Clarke or Alex Turcotte.
The Kings have $19.9 million in cap space with 15 players. According to the deal and restricted free agent winger Adrian Kempe as the most expensive to re-sign. Blake might have to free up some additional cap space in a separate deal to comfortably absorb DeBrincat’s $6.4 million and afford a long-term extension.
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After several years of rebuilding, the New Jersey Devils hope to finally join the ranks of playoff contenders next season. Adding a scoring winger like DeBrincat could provide them with the final piece of the puzzle.
The Devils own the second overall pick in the 2022 NHL draft. General Manager Tom Fitzgerald told reporters during his season-ending news conference on May 5 that he could trade him for an impact player. Perhaps he is in the market for a goalscoring striker to propel a team whose 2.99 goals per game this season ranked 19th overall, while his power play percentage (15.6) was 28.
Already well-stocked with talented young centers like Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes and Dawson Mercer, the Devils also have a rising star in winger Jesper Bratt. However, they could use a proven sniper of DeBrincat’s caliber skating alongside Hischier or Hughes in one of their top two lines.
The Devils have $25.3 million in salary-cap space to 2022-23 with 15 players under contract. There is room to acquire DeBrincat with enough room remaining to re-sign Bratt and round out the rest of the roster. The Blackhawks could be very interested if Fitzgerald approached them with a package offer with the second overall pick.
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A lack of scoring depth was a key factor that ruined the New York Islanders’ 2021-22 season. His 2.79 goals per game ranked 23rd overall. In need of a talented young shooter to play alongside playmaking center Mathew Barzal, Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello could consider DeBrincat as an option.
Pairing Barzal with DeBrincat under new head coach Lane Lambert could see the 25-year-old Islanders center return to the 85-point heights of his 2017-18 rookie campaign. It would mean moving Barzal back to the first line while dropping winger Anders Lee and center Brock Nelson to the second row.
The Islanders have the 13th pick in this year’s draft. Lamoriello could get rid of him in a package for a talent like DeBrincat in the hope that adding him will allow the Islands to recapture the form that saw them reach the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals and the 2021 semifinals.
With $12 million in cap space for 2022-23 and defenseman Noah Dobson to re-sign, Lamoriello will have to lose some salary to make this work in the short and long term. Combining that first-round pick with a quality prospect and player on a short-term contract, like Josh Bailey or Anthony Beauvillier, could form the core of a decent offer to tempt the Blackhawks.
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Like the New Jersey Devils, the Ottawa Senators are willing to part with their first round pick in this year’s draft for an impact player. Maybe GM Pierre Dorion will call the Blackhawks on DeBrincat and offer that draft pick as part of a package deal.
The Senators have the seventh overall pick. On June 13, the Ottawa Sun‘s bruce garrioch reported that Dorion indicated that he had received calls about that election. He is willing to trade him for a player who can help his club become a playoff contender for the first time since 2016-17. Garrioch added that the Senators GM is looking for a top end and top-four defender.
DeBrincat would address that top end need, bringing invaluable depth to an offense whose 2.73 goals per game ranked 26th this season. The Senators already have a top left winger in Brady Tkachuk, while up-and-coming Alex Formenton fills the second-row position. However, they could put DeBrincat on the right sideline alongside rising star center Tim Stutzle, giving the Senators two powerful scoring lines.
Carrying $23.3 million in salary cap space with 15 players signed next season, the Senators must re-sign restricted free agents Formenton and frontline center Josh Norris. Still, they should have enough cap space to add DeBrincat. They could also throw in a salaryman like Connor Brown or Nikita Zaitsev as part of the comeback to comfortably absorb DeBrincat’s punch with plenty of room for other moves.