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2019 NHL free agency: Blackhawks preview and open thread

Discuss the rumors and signings here.

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Buffalo Sabres v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After trading for two-time Stanley Cup champion Andrew Shaw, the Blackhawks have about $8 million in salary cap space as they enter the NHL’s free agency period at 11 a.m. Monday, according to CapFriendly.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has decided go the trade route to improve his team with four trades so far this offseason:

June 15: Defenseman Olli Maatta from Penguins for forward Dominik Kahun and 2019 fifth

June 22: Forward John Quenneville from Devils for forward John Hayden

June 24: Defenseman Calvin de Haan from Hurricanes for defenseman Gustav Forsling, goaltender Anton Forsberg

June 30: Andrew Shaw, 2021 seventh from Canadiens for 2020 second and seventh, 2021 third

Needing new deals

Bowman is in the process of re-signing unrestricted free agent David Kampf and restricted free agent Brendan Perlini. Kampf’s deal is expected to be announced Monday, according to Scott Powers of The Athletic, while Perlini’s new contract may take some time.

(Arty) Party over?

Artem Anisimov’s time with the Blackhawks might be over after the team pays his bonus and his partial no-trade clause expires Monday. The 31-year-old center scored at least 20 goals in his first three seasons with the Blackhawks before he dipped to 20 this past season, but increased his overall point total to 37 compared to 31 points during the 2017-18 campaign. He carries a $4.55 million annual salary cap hit, so moving his contract off the books will help the Blackhawks make a bigger name signing or keep it for re-signing Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome to new deals before July 1, 2020.

Potential signings

The Blackhawks like so many teams have been linked to several free agents, including Ryan Dzingel and Anders Lee. Both have ties to Chicago, with Dzingel being from Wheaton and Lee having attended Notre Dame and his in-laws being from the city.

Bowman has made it clear he doesn’t intend to sign a big name in free agency and will instead go for players that can play on the penalty kill and win faceoffs. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Ryan Carpenter of the Golden Knights are reportedly possibilities.

Thank u, next

The Blackhawks will likely depart with forwards Luke Johnson (2013 fifth rounder), Anthony Louis (2013 sixth rounder) and Spencer Watson and defenseman Blake Hillman (2016 sixth rounder). All four players were not extended qualifying offers and have become unrestricted free agents.

Central news

Colorado: Joonas Donskoi (3 years, $3.5M AAV)

Dallas: Joe Pavelski (3 years, $7M AAV), Corey Perry (1 year, $1.5M)

Minnesota: Ryan Hartman (2 years, $3.8M AAV), Mats Zuccarello (5 years, $6M AAV)

Nashville: Matt Duchene (7 years, $8M AAV)