Per TSN's Pierre LeBrun, Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton and team scouts are in attendance for tonight's Sharks-Avs game. Colliton will task general manager Stan Bowman with acquiring players who fit his system this summer.
So what exactly does this mean? Who knows really. Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks have become rather unpredictable over the last few years, so I would say all options are open at this point. This is the man who traded Artemi Panarin after all.
Perhaps Colliton and the Hawks have their eyes on some pending free agents from either Colorado or San Jose. The biggest name, of course, is former Norris Trophy winner, Erik Karlsson.
Karlsson will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Everyone knows the Hawks need defense, but Karlsson will not be cheap. I would call the chances of the Hawks pursuing Karlsson slim at best. However, who knows with Stan.
On the other side of the ice, Colorado's pending unrestricted free agents include: goaltender Semyon Varlomov, forwards Colin Wilson and Derick Brassard, and defenseman Patrik Nemeth. Varlamov struggled this season and the Hawks will all but surely go into 2019-20 with the tandem of Crawford-Delia, so I'd count that out. In theory, I suppose any of the other options could be minor acquisitions to round out your roster.
Colorado does have several restricted free agents to re-sign this summer. Those include: Mikko Rantanen, Nikita Zadarov, Alexander Kerfoot and J.T. Compher. Rantanen will absolutely be back in Denver, but perhaps the Hawks are tracking the rest with hopes that Colorado won't be able to bring everyone back.
Perhaps this is a non-story and the Hawks are simply doing their due diligence heading into the offseason. But, with Stan Bowman, expect the unexpected. For the first time in forever, Bowman is going to have a ton of money to play with in free agency and maybe he has his eyes on a member of the Avs or Sharks.
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