NHL Rumors: Chicago Blackhawks and the Edmonton Oilers
The Chicago Blackhawks will look at the Seattle Kraken and understand the value of cap space. The Edmonton Oilers eye a third-line center.
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The Chicago Blackhawks and that value of cap space

Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times:  There is about to be a lesson on the value of cap space. It will feature an outcome that will not be known for some time. The flat cap combined with a ridiculous load of free agents creates natural chaos and unnatural chaos as well.

How the Chicago Blackhawks negotiate this summer will have repercussions for a long time. That 32nd team, the Seattle Kraken, expects to set the bar for what flexible cap space is like. After all, they have a clean slate and $81.5 million to spend.

Some free agents will not get the money most expect them to. It is a different way of doing business these days. Chicago understands that as much as anyone. Timing and leverage are everything now.

The Edmonton Oilers search for a third-line center

Allan Mitchell of The Athletic:  What if the Edmonton Oilers cannot find a third-line center via free agency? They will not acquire one from teams like the Chicago Blackhawks. That is a given. So, is there a potential fit internally?

Ryan McLeod remains the only tangible AHL option and Dylan Holloway has not played center at the pro level. So, options are kind of limited in that sense.

The problem internally is that any option cannot score well at even-strength. Also, faceoff percentages in the defensive zone are problematic. Furthermore, expected goals for percentage are abysmal.

That presents a huge problem for Ken Holland. The most viable option internally is Jujhar Khaira. Khaira’s inconsistency makes trusting him a problem.

When Barclay Goodrow signed his six-year pact with the New York Rangers at $3.6 million AAV), that sent the market in its current direction. Simply, it will be turbulent. Options could be costly and frightening.

It keeps looking like Ryan McLeod is going to get more and more of this role during the 2021-22 season. He will have help with Khaira and that seems to be the likely plan.