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Saturday, November 26, 2022

The Blackhawks begin disbanding, trading Debrincat and Ducho

The long-anticipated dismantling of the Chicago Blackhawks’ roster began Thursday with the team trading Alex Debrincat to the Ottawa Senators and Kirby Dachs to the Montreal Canadiens.

In completing a third trade securing goalkeeper Petr Marzek from the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Blackhawks did not make a first-round pick for making three picks during the evening at the NHL Draft in Montreal.

Chicago took seventh and 39th picks in this year’s draft and acquired the third rounder for Debrincat in 2024, a year away from a big payday. The Blackhawks secured the number 13 pick by trading Dutch to Montreal.

In adding Marzek, the Blackhawks secured the No. 25 selection to help free up much-needed salary cap space to the Maple Leafs. Marzek has two years left on a three-year, $11.4 million contract he signed with Toronto.

DeBrincat’s tackle signaled a change of win-soon mode for the Senators, while the Blackhawks went ahead a year after making moves such as acquiring defending Seth Jones and Marc-André Fleury.

“I think they’re trying to do something that we were probably trying to do a few years ago,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorian said in the draft in Montreal. “Now we’re trying to do something that a lot of teams were trying to do, and that is to win a lot of hockey games.”

With too many losses to come next season and beyond, attention now turns to the future of longtime Blackhawks stars and three-time Stanley Cup-winners Jonathan Toes and Patrick Kane, whose matching contracts expire after next season. Huh.

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He has already gained some financial flexibility by trading DeBrincat, who is expected to attract huge growth after his current deal expires after the 2022-23 season.

Debrincat, 24, has one year left on a $19.2 million, three-year contract, after which he is eligible to become a restricted free agent. Dorian said the senators hope to begin extension talks with Debrincat’s agent next week when league rules allow him, but added that the team wants to make sure he is a good fit in coach DJ Smith’s system. .

“Obviously, we’d like to expand on that at some point,” Dorian said. “He was quite excited. He talked to both me and the DJ before, and he was really excited. He knows we have a really good, young group of players.”

Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson said adding high draft picks after the Debrincat trade was a priority.

“Trading a player of Alex’s caliber was an incredibly difficult decision. We think this move prepares the Blackhawks for future success by giving us additional flexibility and future talent,” Davidson said in a statement.

“Securing this for a first round selection tonight and an additional second round selection tomorrow allows us to solidify our potential base with high-end players, whom we look to be the difference-makers for years to come. expect.”

Chicago picked Canada’s junior defenseman Kevin Korchinsky in 13th pick, US development team center Frank Nazar 13th and Minnesota high school defenseman Sam Rinzel in 25th.

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Trades come as the Blackhawks reach a crossroads in the direction of their franchise. Chicago has missed the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, and has not won a postseason round since 2015, when the Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup in six years.

The DeBrincat deal will create more questions for longtime Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toes and Patrick Kane.

Toez and Kane – still one of the league’s most dynamic players at 33 – have no-movement clauses in place, making trade unlikely unless they call for a change of scenery. But Debrincat’s departure may prompt Ken or Toez to look for a new home.

Debrincat was selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2016 draft. He made a large number of appearances with the OHL’s Erie Otters in juniors, but his height of 5 foot-7 let him down a few draft boards.

Those concerns turned out to be unfounded.

Debrincat has been one of the NHL’s most prolific scorers since his debut with the Blackhawks in 2017. The winger posted a career-high tally of 41 goals last season and a career-best 37 assists in 82 games.

In all, he has 160 goals and 147 assists in 368 games.

But the Michigan native has also improved on the defensive end, becoming a more well-rounded player since entering the league.

He joins a growing senators roster that already has a collection of promising young men including Brady Tkachuk and Tim Stutzl.

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