Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman will enter the free agency period, which begins July 1, with his sights set on signing a backup goaltender.
The Blackhawks have already been linked to three unrestricted free agent netminders: Jonathan Bernier, Carter Hutton and Cam Ward. Other options could include Robin Lehner, Ondrej Pavelec, Jaroslav Halak and Kari Lehtonen.
Bowman could also be seeking a top-four defenseman, a new scoring threat and a team to take on Marian Hossa’s contract.
Some defenseman options could be Calvin de Haan, Ian Cole or Carolina’s Justin Faulk. Top candidates to provide a scoring punch are UFA James van Riemsdyk, Montreal’s Max Pacioretty and Carolina’s Jeff Skinner.
The Hawks could simply place Hossa and his $5.275-million salary cap hit on long-term injured reserve, if they cannot find a suitor. But a trade would give more salary cap certainty, more in-season flexibility and far less paperwork to deal with.