Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson expects target plan clarity for the next 24-48 hours

Davidson expects clarity on goalkeeper plan in the next 24-48 hours originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

MONTREAL — Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson is open for business and working on the phones ahead of the 2022 NHL Draft, which opens Thursday in Montreal. And it’s no secret that he’s looking for a first-rounder, as long as the right deal comes along.

It feels like the entire city of Chicago is on Alex DeBrincat Watch to see if the 24-year-old two-time 40-goal sniper will still be a member of the Blackhawks by the end of the week. though his days could be numbered anyway

But there’s one more possible storyline starting Thursday. The Blackhawks may have some clarity on their goalkeeping situation for next season after Friday, and Davidson mentioned this in his pre-draft media availability late Wednesday afternoon.

“A few options, a few different ways,” Davidson said. “I think that’s something that we’re really going to get a much better handle on in the next 24, 48 hours in which direction we’re going, but a few options, yeah.”

The Blackhawks have no NHL goalkeeper under contract for next season, with Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen becoming unrestricted free agents. Arvid Soderblom and Jaxson Stauber are the only two netminders signed next season, but neither is ready to become full-time NHL starters and needs more spice at the AHL level.

If Davidson expects to have a better handle on the goalkeeping situation by the end of the NHL Draft, don’t be surprised if he tries to recruit someone who is trying to move a team for salary cap reasons. The Blackhawks are — and should — be willing to take paychecks if it means acquiring future assets in one form or another.

For example, the Toronto Maple Leafs are on the hunt for a No. 1 goalkeeper and urgently need to lose Petr Mrazek’s salary — a $3.8 million cap hit for two more seasons — to free up money to sign one. They put him on waivers on the trading deadline day, further signaling that they want to get rid of him. The Blackhawks could be a match for Toronto when it comes to a potential Mrazek trade, although it should be noted that the 30-year-old goalkeeper has a list of 10 teams with no trades and it’s unclear where Chicago would stand in that regard. can fall.

If a goalkeeper trade doesn’t happen before the draft closes on Friday, it will give Davidson a chance to turn his full attention to the free-agent class.

It could be painful for the Blackhawks for the next few seasons, and it would be wise to find a veteran-type starter to take the brunt of those tough times. It makes no sense to use next season as a development year for young keepers.

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