Chicago Blackhawks fans didn't have high expectations for their team during the 2023-24 NHL season and it's probably been for the best. While there have been bright spots here and there (mainly Connor Bedard's arrival), the Blackhawks have done a lot of losing, sitting at the bottom of the Central Division with an 11-22-1 record as of Dec. 28.
Losing is expected during a rebuilding season, though, as well as player movement. It's only a matter of time before the Blackhawks send some of their veteran players and expiring contracts packing in favor of fully embracing the youth movement.
Here are five Blackhawks who are likely leaving Chicago in the New Year.
5 Blackhawks Leaving Chicago in 2024
1. Nick Foligno, LW
With the Blackhawks needing to reach the salary cap floor this past summer, they signed veteran winger Nick Foligno to a one-year, $4 million contract. He was viewed as someone who could bring valuable leadership lessons to Chicago's young players after serving as the Columbus Blue Jackets captain from 2015 to 2021.
Interestingly enough, Foligno has exceeded expectations thus far. The 36-year-old veteran has registered eight goals and 17 points through his first 34 games. While that's far from his best performance, it puts him on pace for 41 points, which would be his best total since the 2016-17 season (51) and the fourth-best mark of his 17th NHL season.
While Foligno's impact on Chicago's youngsters hasn't gone unnoticed, his current production rate makes him a prime trade deadline candidate. Chances are a postseason-bound team would love to add a gritty rental player like Foligno, who has 68 career playoff games under his belt.
Given that he'll hit free agency in July even if he isn't moved by the trade deadline, chances are Foligno is as good as gone at some point this year.