UPDATE: Well, let’s scratch this one off. The Capitals just announced they’ve signed Oshie to an eight-year, $46 million contract. That’s a $5.75 million cap hit through 2024-25, which would’ve been way too rich for the Hawks’ books anyway.
Free agent winger T.J. Oshie is being “strongly considered” by the Chicago Blackhawks as a possible replacement for Artemi Panarin, reports FOX Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland. He says Oshie would need to take a major discount to pick the Blackhawks, who are trying to sell him on the opportunity to win a Stanley Cup.
Oshie, 30, hits unrestricted free agency on July 1 after playing the past two seasons for the Washington Capitals. He’s coming off a strong season where he recorded 33 goals and 23 assists in 68 regular season games. During the Capitals’ playoff run, he was impressive with 12 points in 13 games.
The Blackhawks are remaking their roster in a big way this summer, with Panarin and Niklas Hjalmarsson already traded in separate moves. Chicago got back winger Brandon Saad in the Panarin deal, but he’s expected to return to his role as the left wing next to Jonathan Toews.
That means there’s still an opening on Patrick Kane’s line at left wing, and according to Strickland, Oshie may be a target there.
The obvious problem is salary cap space, as the Blackhawks are currently over the $75 million upper limit, per Cap Friendly. That situation will get complicated with Marian Hossa expected to go onto long-term injured reserve, but suffice to say, Oshie would have to take less money from Chicago to pass on deals from the open market.
The veteran winger recently completed a five-year, $20.875 million contract that he originally signed with the St. Louis Blues in 2012. The Blues traded him to the Capitals in 2015, and it’s widely expected that Washington will try to re-sign him. The odds of Oshie taking a substantial discount are small, and it’s fair to wonder whether the Blackhawks should be pursuing free agents in their 30s anyway. But if these two can find a deal that works, it would be an undeniably interesting addition to their forward corps.