BREAKING NEWS: The Blackhawks have traded Marian Hossa’s contract along with Vinnie Hinostroza, Jordan Oesterle, and a 2019 3rd round pick to the Arizona Coyotes.

The Blackhawks finally alleviated the Marian Hossa contract headache and freed up some much-needed cap space. Although the Blackhawks did lose Vinnie Hinostroza in the process, this was a deal that had to be made. There are more than enough young guns in the farm system to help counter the loss of Hinostroza. I have recently written an article about the guys who are the closest to cracking the NHL roster.

Now that the Blackhawks have freed up enough cap space, they are now able to make additional moves this offseason, either via trade or free agency. The Blackhawks instantly save $4.65 million and are currently sitting around $8.55 million in cap space.

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This is more than enough to make a difference this offseason. If the Blackhawks choose not to use it all right now, the leftovers can be used in future contract extensions.

Analyzing the Marian Hossa Deal

Let’s dive right in and break down the players that the Blackhawks received in return from Arizona.

Marcus Kruger – C

Marcus Kruger is someone that all Blackhawks’ fans remember from the team’s Stanley Cup run. Kruger is a defensive-minded center who is a Penalty Kill specialist. He will likely reclaim his spot on the 3rd or 4th line as well. The last time Kruger was in town, the Blackhawks had one of the better penalty kill rates in the league. This is something that the team desperately missed last season. The team also struggled with faceoffs last season and Kruger can help turn that around with his career 50.7% faceoff win rate.

MacKenzie Entwistle – RW

MacKenzie Entwistle is an 18-year-old winger who was the Arizona Coyotes’ 3rd round pick in 2017. Entwistle stands tall at 6’3″ 190 pounds and plays a power forward game. He is known to throw his body around and does not shy away from contact. Watch as number 44 is always in the right spot and gets to the dirty areas around the net. StanBo may have gotten a steal in Entwistle.

Jordan Maletta – C

Jordan Maletta is a 23-year-old center who was an undrafted free agent. He was signed by the Columbus Blue Jackets back in 2016. At this point in his career, Maletta is basically just another big bodied forward who will likely be relegated to an AHL career. He will not contribute much on the offensive end or much of anything for that matter.

Here are Maletta’s uninspiring stats up to now.

Andrew Campbell – D

Andrew Campbell is a 30-year-old defenseman who will likely be the 2018-19 version of Cody Franson of the Rockford IceHogs. Campbell was likely just a throw-in to the Marian Hossa deal. He should be seen as nothing more than a Top 2 AHL defenseman or a 7th D-man for an NHL team.

The Blackhawks also received a 2019 5th round pick from the Coyotes which will either be used to add additional depth via the 2019 NHL Draft or as a sweetener in another potential offseason deal.

What to Watch For Now

Now that StanBo has officially rid the team of Hossa’s pestersome contract, he can finally start making the moves that he should have already been making this whole time. The Blackhawks have been recently been linked to Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens.

As some of you may know, Pacioretty’s relationship with the Canadiens’ management has deteriorated to an irreparable level. The Canadiens are refusing to sign Pacioretty to a contract extension. This can play into StanBo hands very nicely, so let’s see if he can pull off another big-time deal this offseason. If Bowman is able to swing a deal for Max Pacioretty, he may have officially saved his job for the time being.