By Kyle Johansen @kylejohansen on April 16, 2014
After the Chicago Blackhawks win their second consecutive Stanley Cup they will have close to million worth of cap space heading into free agency. Michael Handzus will be an unrestricted free agent after the season and the Hawks will likely bring him back for close to the minimum salary. Jeremy Morin and Ben Smith will be restricted free agents and the Hawks will certainly look to lock them up as well.
Marcel Goc was No. 28 in the NHL this season in faceoffs won at 658 and this is an area where the Blackhawks can always improve. Goc contributed 11 goals, 14 assists and 119 hits this past season.
At 6-foot-3 and 232 pounds, Matt Greene would add some necessary size to a small Blackhawks squad. Greene played in just 38 games this season fighting injuries, but made his presence known when he was on the ice, delivering 118 hits with 59 blocked shots.
Steve Ott is a 10-year veteran, but is still just 31 years old. Ott was ninth overall in the league in hits this year at 246 and scored nine goals with 14 assists. Ott was solid on the dot as he won 494 faceoffs this past season at a rate of 54 percent. Ott would add necessary depth at center for the Hawks and his skill set perfectly fits the Blackhawks’ needs.
Brooks Orpik would add a necessary element of physicality to the speed and finesse game of the Blackhawks. Orpik would bump Johnny Oduya down on the depth chart, which would ultimately give Michal Rozsival a smaller role on the team. Orpik finished the season with 221 hits, which ranked him at No. 18 overall in the NHL, and 18 ahead of the Blackhawks' leader in hits, Brandon Bollig.
Bringing back Dave Bolland would be huge for the Blackhawks. Bolland famously scored the game-winning goal to win the Stanley Cup against the Boston Bruins, just 17 seconds after Bryan Bickell tied the game with 1:16 left in regulation. If the Hawks can get creative with the cap, bringing back Dave Bolland would be a win for everyone.
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