The 2021 NHL Trade Deadline came and went for the Chicago Blackhawks along with the rest of the National Hockey League clubs. The Hawks did very well for themselves as they try to retool their organization for the future while remaining competitive in the present. They made a bunch of trades but a few things have to make you wonder if the Seattle Kraken had anything to do with their decisions. It is fair to believe that the upcoming expansion draft had a lot to do with some team’s philosophy going forward.
Did the Seattle Kraken have any influence on the Chicago Blackhawks’ decision-making?
The answer is probably yes. Teams got fleeced in 2017 when the Vegas Golden Knights had their expansion draft and now they are one of the league’s powerhouses. Every year since coming in, the Golden Knights have been a Stanley Cup contender. The closest they were to lifting that Stanley Cup came in their first season when they lost in the finals to the Washington Capitals in five games. The league is going to do what they can to keep Seattle from doing that but it may be hard.
The Blackhawks have their roster semi-setup to deal with the expansion draft wisely. They didn’t trade either Nikita Zadorov or Calvin de Haan so you’d have to think they are both exposed. There are also a few other options that Seattle can take in the draft or they could even come to a trade agreement during the draft. There are a lot of things to be considered but it is fair to wonder how that affected this year’s deadline.
Seattle is going to have similar rules to Vegas so they are probably going to be pretty good. Playing in the same conference as them, the Hawks might not use Seattle’s cap to help themselves but teams in the Eastern Conference will. Chances are that the divisions will go back to normal next season so Seattle will be in town a decent amount.
The Kraken isn’t in the league yet but they are influencing the way that teams do business right now. On trade deadline day (Monday), there were exactly 100 days until the Expansion Draft. That means that teams are going to do what they can to have someone that the Kraken can take without much fuss.
If every team is successful then Seattle might have a tough time but chances are plenty of teams will give them good players to take the player (or contract) they want them to take. We will learn more if this upcoming draft influenced Stan Bowman’s decision-making on a few guys once the draft takes place.