The Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets, and Carolina Hurricanes have been “sniffing around” Chicago Blackhawks forward Ryan Hartman, reports the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus. However, he also adds that he gets “the sense the Blackhawks’ asking price is too high” for a deal to happen.
We already heard about the Jets’ interest in Hartman, an upcoming restricted free agent, earlier this week, so it’s not surprising that other teams have asked about the young forward. He’s proven to be a solid contributor over his first two NHL seasons and could become an even bigger part of an NHL lineup next season.
But Hartman is due for a raise as an upcoming RFA and the Blackhawks may prefer to see what they can get for a talented forward who hasn’t found a perfect spot in the lineup. He was benched by Joel Quenneville for much of the 3-2 loss to the Blue Jackets on Sunday night after committing a high-sticking penalty late in the first period.
As Lazerus notes, the asking price is high, so they’re not shopping him here. Still, the door is clearly open if another team makes a strong offer.
Hartman has recorded eight goals and 17 assists in 57 games with the Blackhawks this season. He was also productive as a rookie with 19 goals and 12 assists in 76 games, although he’s seen his 5-on-5 shots on goal per 60 rate drop from 10.6 to 7.5, per Hockey-Reference, which isn’t a great trend.
There’s a lot to like about Hartman’s game, so there’s little reason for the Blackhawks to move him unless they’re offered a good package. However, most of the big pieces have no-trade protection and some other forwards have yielded nice returns for their former teams recently. There’s potentially a strong market in which to extract value for a good, but not integral, player like Hartman. You can see why he’s one of the guys being discussed right now.