Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has two restricted free agents and three unrestricted free agents he could look to re-sign when the NHL free agency period opens at 11 a.m. Friday.
Forwards Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome were both extended qualifying offers and look to be re-signed. Kubalik has arbitration rights while Strome does not.
Forward Drake Caggiula, defenseman Slater Koekkoek and goaltender Malcolm Subban did not receive a qualifying offer, but Bowman didn’t rule out the possibility of any of them returning at the right price.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean these players won’t be coming back to the Blackhawks. In particular, we’re hopeful that we can get Malcolm signed,” Bowman said Thursday.
The Blackhawks moved on from 35-year-old goaltender Corey Crawford on Thursday and he will hit the open market as a UFA. The Avalanche look to be the most popular destination for the two-time Stanley Cup champion who wants to play for a contender and win one more championship before he hangs up his skates.
It figures to be a quite free agency period for the Blackhawks other than some in-house items mentioned above after Bowman said the organization is committed to letting young players compete.