Free agency begins today and the Hawks have money to spend. Unlike the past few years where the Hawks did not have a lot of money, this year is different. Here are five free agents that the Hawks will be interested in.
1. Ryan Suter, D-Nashville Predators
Suter is the cream of the crop on defense. Suter might not be looking for the most money but he is looking for the right fit and a place that him and his family will be comfortable. Suter grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. Suter had 7 goals and 39 assists this season. Suter will have plenty of suitors including the Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues and more. A signing of Suter would impact the whole Central division and could take some pressure off of Duncan Keith. Suter is a fantastic defenseman and would help the Blackhawks penalty kill.
2. Shane Doan, RW-Phoenix Coyotes
Doan is going to be entering free agency for the first time. There have been reports this week that he is unhappy with the ownership situation in Phoenix and is contemplating leaving Phoenix. Doan and Toews were talking to the media at the NHLPA meetings this week and Toews said he was trying to pitch Doan on coming to Chicago. Doan is a gritty, feisty player who would give the Blackhawks some more sandpaper. Doan was an animal in the playoffs this year and would look great on a line with Toews. Doan is looking for a three to four year deal to finish his career and the Hawks can promise him a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
3. Jason Garrison, D-Florida Panthers
Garrison will be due a hefty raise after a monster season. The question on Garrison is he a legitimate offensive defenseman or is he a flash in the pan? Garrison had a phenomenal season but was he the beneficiary of Brian Campbell arriving in Florida? Garrison had 16 goals and 17 assists this season. The 17 assists are alarming and do not show good production. Garrison had no career power play goals before this season and he had nine this season. Coming into this season, Garrison only had five career goals. Garrison will make a lot of money but the jury is out whether it will be money well spent.
4. Matt Carle, D-Philadelphia Flyers
Carle is another of the top defenseman that will hit the market. Carle is a top four defenseman that does not have much of an offensive game. However, Carle has shown flashes of an offensive game scoring over 5 goals in a season twice. Carle is a steady and reliable defenseman who has played in 80 or more games the last three seasons. Carle will put up very good assist numbers and help improve the defensive corps. Carle is a terrific two way defenseman and would help provide depth on the blue line.
5. Martin Brodeur, G-New Jersey Devils
Normally, I wouldn’t write about Brodeur as it was expected that he would end his career in New Jersey. There is a good chance that Brodeur will resign with New Jersey; however, Brodeur recently signed with agent Pat Brisson which is a sign that he may enter free agency. The Hawks can’t be exactly enamored with Corey Crawford after a poor showing in the regular season and the playoffs. Brodeur is the all time wins leader for goaltenders and would give the Hawks a veteran presence in the net. Brodeur showed he can still lead a team as he led New Jersey to the Stanley Cup finals.
Free agency starts at 11 AM central time and promises fast and furious action. The Hawks should be active and will have the money to spend. It should be fun to watch.