Chicago Blackhawks‘ head coach Jeremy Colliton spoke to the media on Tuesday. Not only did he reveal Wyatt Kalynuk will miss some time, but he also revealed that veteran forward Brett Connolly has been placed on waivers.
Connolly was acquired at the trade deadline last season from the Florida Panthers. The trade also saw Chicago add forward Henrik Borgstrom and defenseman Riley Stillman. Both young players figure to be key contributors on the Blackhawks’ roster this season.
Last season, the 29-year-old forward tallied three goals and three assists in 31 games between Florida and Chicago. In 10 games with the Blackhawks, Connolly scored a lone goal and added a lone assist.
Connolly inked a four-year, $14 million deal with the Florida Panthers before the 2019-20 season. After a season and a half with Florida, Connolly was dealt to Chicago. He is entering the third season of the four-year deal.
As Colliton noted in Ben Pope’s tweet, Connolly came in prepared to compete this season. Unfortunately, there are only so many spots in what is now a very deep forward group for the Hawks, and Connolly is now one of the odd men out. If he is claimed off waivers, a fresh start may be exactly what the veteran needs to return to his old self. He had four consecutive seasons from 2016-17 to 2019-20 where he tallied 15 or more goals.
If Connolly goes unclaimed, he will be able to be sent to Rockford and only $2.375 million of his $3.5 million cap hit will count toward the salary cap.