The Chicago Blackhawks got their offseason underway on Monday afternoon, acquiring veteran wingers Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno from the Boston Bruins in exchange for defensemen Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula.
The trade accomplishes multiple things for both sides. For Chicago, the Blackhawks land a quality top-six winger in Hall, who should be able to slot in nicely with Connor Bedard assuming he can stay healthy. Hall, a former first overall pick himself and former Hart Trophy winner, should also provide valuable leadership for Bedard, showing the phenom the ropes of being a first overall pick and how to handle the hype and expectations. Hall’s $6 million cap hit in each of the next two seasons will also help the team reach the salary cap floor. In Foligno, the Hawks acquire another respected veteran winger. Although past his prime, Foligno can still contribute in a bottom-six role while providing physicality and leadership. Foligno is currently an unrestricted free agent, but all signs point toward the Blackhawks intending to sign Foligno ahead of free agency opening on July 1.
For Boston, the Bruins “acquire” much-needed cap space, as something clearly needed to give in order for Boston to comfortably assemble a roster for next season. The Bruins also acquire a pair of underachieving blueliners ready for a fresh start who can provide organizational depth moving forward.
On the surface, although being a win-win deal for both sides, the Hawks would seem to be the bigger winners, as neither Mitchell nor Regula likely factored into the team’s long-term plans, as both players were unable to crack the Blackhawks’ lineup last season, while also adding a quality forward option in Hall and veteran depth in Foligno.