As soon as the Stanley Cup was raised and Mark Stone started skating around with it, there were likely many Blackhawks fans watching and wondering if that will be return to a United Center rink sooner rather than later.
Oh yes, Chicago, the fun truly begins starting June 28th in what will start the momentum of moving from a long painful rebuild to a rebuilding around a generational player.
Here are the key dates and moments to be aware of as the confetti is swept up at T-Mobile Arena in Vegas.
Buyouts Begin on June 16th
The window for contract buyouts start on June 16th. CHN looked at Nikita Zaitsev and how his contract could be one that the Blackhawks choose to wipe out. They have money to spend to get to the floor but that won’t be an issue. Could Tyler Johnson another one? It really will depend on the direction Davidson has chosen to go, but he’s mentioned how veterans will be there to help Connor Bedard along in his first season.
NHL Awards on June 27th
NHL Draft June 28th and June 29th
Is this going to be a big deal? Sarcasm aside, the Blackhawks fortunes will forever change when they announce Connor Bedard’s name on June 28th in Nashville. Winning the draft lottery was one thing. But actually getting to see him the pull the sweater over his head will be a whole other for giddy Chicago fans.
Oh yeah, ignore the Chicago-is-going-to-trade-the-pick narratives, too. Please.
Free Agency Opens – July 1st
This will also bring the anticipation up. It’s expected that Davidson is going to go the course as he’s said several times already. It’ll likely be short term deals with some higher amounts, but it’ll be in the vein of starting to march back into a spot where the Blackhawks will be playing into May and June again.
Enjoy the anticipation, Chicago. It’s going to be a busy and wild two weeks.