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As the NHL Draft approaches, the opportunity for the Chicago Blackhawks to enact chaos in the league before making the first-overall pick on Wednesday night is fully on the table. On Monday afternoon, they began their draft week with a bang. The Blackhawks are acquiring Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno from the Boston Bruins in exchange for the RFA rights to Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula.
The Blackhawks have nearly $40M in salary cap space and have to reach the salary cap floor ahead of the 2023-24 season and this move helps accomplish that. Hall has two years left on his current deal with a $6M AAV. On Tuesday following the trade, the Blackhawks officially signed Foligno to a one-year, $4M AAV deal for the 2023-24 season. With both moves, the Blackhawks are just a few million short of the floor with contracts still assumed to be added for Connor Bedard and Philipp Kurashev, among other potential free agent moves.
“We are thrilled to be adding players of Nick’s and Taylor’s caliber to our organization,” said Blackhawks General Manager Kyle Davidson in the team press release. “The two bring a wealth of experience and leadership that will strengthen not only our forward group, but aid in the development of our entire roster.”
Defensemen Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula both are players who were in danger of being leap-frogged in the organizational depth chart with the influx of young defensemen joining the professional ranks.
Hall, 31, is a former first-overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers and played the past two and a half seasons with the Boston Bruins. In the past two years, Hall recorded 97 points in 142 games and has 693 points in 822 career games. Foligno, 35, also spent the last two seasons with the Bruins and has tallied 39 points in 124 games. The former Columbus Blue Jackets captain has 525 career points in 1,081 games.