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Over The Boards

Blackhawks moves, Eller trade among questions

NHL.com's Dan Rosen answers weekly mailbag

by Dan Rosen @DRosenNHL / NHL.com

Here is the June 29 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run periodically through the course of the offseason. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

After the Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw trades, Chicago has some cap space. Do they get Brian Campbell back from the Panthers? -- @jimmy_krueger

There has been a lot of chatter about this happening. Campbell loved his three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. His wife is from Chicago. He still has a home there. The Blackhawks obviously need a defenseman or two or three. Coach Joel Quenneville is known to be pro-Campbell, which helps. He's 37 but he still can skate and move the puck, which is exactly what the Blackhawks need. He's durable, too, having played in every game for five straight seasons. He continues to produce, too, with 31 points a plus-31 rating in 2015-16. The hiccup is he's going to have to take a major paycut from what he was making in his previous contract, an eight-year, $57 million contract he signed with Chicago on July 1, 2008. If he's willing to do it, I can see him signing with the Blackhawks and filling out a top-four defense corps that could make them a Stanley Cup contender again.

Did you find it odd that Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw were traded? -- @dabrams2021

Not in the least. The Blackhawks traded Shaw because they couldn't afford him. He got a six-year contract worth a reported $3.9 million annually from the Canadiens. The Blackhawks can't have a $3.9 million third-line player on their roster, not with the depth issues they have at forward and on defense. They need to use that money to fill out their defense by getting another top-four defenseman. Shaw was a good player for the Blackhawks, clutch and hard-working, but he's replaceable. The Blackhawks need cheap talent to come through for them.

OK, so you're probably going to ask me, wouldn't Teravainen have been one of those cheap, young players needed to fill a significant role? The answer is yes, but it's not always that simple. For starters, the Blackhawks felt they had to move Bickell's $4 million cap charge, but they weren't going to be able to trade him without sweetening the pot. So they threw in Teravainen, which was enough for the Carolina Hurricanes.

But I also think Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman was looking ahead to next summer, when Artemi Panarin is going to need a new contract and there will be an expansion draft. Teravainen also can become a restricted free agent next summer, and it's fair to wonder if the Blackhawks would be able to afford him and Panarin on their second contracts. Because they have no-movement clauses in their contracts, the Blackhawks will have to protect Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Artem Anisimov from the expansion draft. Panarin, fortunately, is exempt from the expansion draft. That still brings Bowman down to three more forwards to protect, significantly limiting his options. So while he most likely traded Teravainen to help get rid of Bickell's cap hit, he might have had next summer in mind too.

Video: F Taylor Hall traded to New Jersey for D Adam Larsson

I know it's a rebuild, but do you see the New Jersey Devils doing anything in free agency, like a speed guy like Michael Grabner or Darren Helm? -- @speeDy

The Devils obviously made a splash Wednesday by acquiring Taylor Hall in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers. They sent defenseman Adam Larsson to Edmonton, so I expect them to try to get a defenseman in free agency to replace him. Jason Demers would be someone I would look at. Otherwise, to your question, I like Helm. He's fast and a center. Even after acquiring left wing Taylor Hall in a trade Wednesday, they need speed and centers. Helm would fit into the type of quick hockey coach John Hynes wants the Devils to be playing. His early problems with the Red Wings were a result of injuries. He has played most of the past two seasons in a bottom-six role and averaged 14 goals per season. The Devils had three players with more than 14 goals in 2015-16. Helm wins faceoffs, plays strong in the defensive zone and helps drive possession. With Adam Henrique, Travis Zajac, Pavel Zacha, Helm, Joseph Blandisi and Jacob Josefson, Hynes would have some decent options at center.

Are offer sheets basically as relevant as black and white TV, or will we even see one this offseason? -- @dabrams2021

They're rare, no doubt, but I did hear a bit of chatter about offer sheets during the draft. There was some thought that defenseman Seth Jones would be a target of an offer sheet prior to him signing a six-year contract with the Blue Jackets on Wednesday because the Blue Jackets have salary cap constraints that they're no doubt trying to work through. It's not the same for defenseman Jacob Trouba and center Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff told me at the draft he's not worried about offer sheets because the team has the cap space to match offer sheets on both players.

Here's the thing with offer sheets: Any team that utilizes them has to have the necessary draft pick compensation available to give to the team that formerly retained the player's rights. Without it, the offer sheet is moot. That's a problem. It basically means GMs have to go all in to make it hard for the team that retains the player's rights not to match the offer sheet. Going all in means they need to have significant draft pick compensation, which is on a sliding scale based on the contract signed through the offer sheet. Draft picks are key assets. So is cap flexibility. You have the potential to lose both when you sign a player to a massive offer sheet.

Video: What does the future hold for prospect Jimmy Vesey?

Do you consider the Filip Forsberg for Martin Erat trade one of the worst in NHL history? -- @whoopoi

Without taking the time to look back on all the doozies, this one has to rank near the top. Forsberg still has a lot of work to do, but for now he looks like a perennial all-star, while Erat played 62 games for the Capitals and four more in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I also love Forsberg's new contract for him and the Nashville Predators. A six-year, $36 million contract is nothing to scoff at, but it doesn't break the bank for the Predators, who still have some room to fill out their depth.

With the new Las Vegas team, is there a new AHL team that gets added? Where does their farm system come from, if any? -- @NelsonYotes

Las Vegas likely will have a West-Coast based American Hockey League affiliate. AHL commissioner Dave Andrews said the league will follow what the NHL does, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. Las Vegas owner Bill Foley can purchase an AHL team or the league can choose to expand to 31 teams. The latter is most convenient as it would match the number of NHL teams. It's possible a Western-based ECHL team could become an AHL franchise. The NHL and AHL work in conjunction on a lot of matters, and I wouldn't anticipate this one being an issue.

What do you think the Lars Eller trade does for Washington? -- @attackhunter97

It gives the Capitals a legitimate third-line center who can score and make their third line dangerous. Remember, the Capitals were victimized by the Pittsburgh Penguins' third line of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel. That wound is fresh. It showed them their depth wasn't as good as they thought it was during the regular season. Now they can have three centers in Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Eller, who all can play on scoring lines. Eller gives the Capitals the chance to have a third scoring line. They didn't have it this season.

Two free agents that are probably going to get overpaid? -- @jasonjpevans

Kyle Okposo and Mikkel Boedker.

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