Several Chicago Blackhawks face uncertain futures
As the Blackhawks begin to set their sights on next season, plenty of players' futures are up in the air.
Chief among them are backup goaltender Scott Darling, veteran defenseman Brian Campbell, third-year defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, center Marcus Kruger and restricted free agent Richard Panik.
The soon-to-be 38-year-old Campbell indicated he'll likely either re-sign or retire.
"I enjoyed it here and it was fun," Campbell said. "Obviously the playoffs weren't fun.
"We'll think about it (the future). I'm going to talk to the family and see and kind of go from there."
Campbell said he has not talked with GM Stan Bowman about returning and that he has to evaluate whether or not he can help the Hawks during the toughest time of year.
"Anybody can play in the regular season," Campbell said. "I've got to see if I'm looked at as a player who can help this team. I don't know. It'll be interesting. Never thought about this kind of thing before."
Darling (18-5-5, .924 save percentage, 2.38 GAA) had a solid season, especially during the three weeks Corey Crawford was out after having an appendectomy. The 6-foot-6 Lemont native proved to many observers that can be a starter.
"He's earned the opportunity to get the next challenge, or the next step," said coach Joel Quenneville. "We loved the options of having him going in at any time."
Darling's voice shook and he teared up when asked about how it felt to play for the franchise he cheered in his youth.
"If (I do go somewhere else), I wouldn't change a second of my time in Chicago," Darling said. "They've been so great to me -- my teammates, coaching staff, front office -- everybody's been amazing."
Van Riemsdyk and Kruger are both candidates to be taken by Las Vegas in the expansion draft. Neither wants to leave Chicago.
"Chicago has been an awesome place," van Riemsdyk said. "I owe them a lot. They've helped me so much along the way from when I first got there to now, being able to learn from this coaching staff, all these guys."
Panik, who scored 22 goals, will seek a raise from the $875,000 he made this season.
"I'm really happy here," Panik said. "We'll see how negotiating goes."
Other players with uncertain futures are unrestricted free agents Andrew Desjardins and Johnny Oduya, and restricted free agents Dennis Rasmussen, Tomas Jurco and Michal Kempny.