Hawthorn has taken a bold gamble by delisting a veteran star in the hope of redrafting him in a few weeks.
The Hawks on Thursday announced professional goal sneak Chad Wingard, as well as Cooper Stephens, had been delisted by the AFL club.
But the club is “committed to re-drafting” the pair via the rookie and national drafts, it said in a statement.
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“The changes will allow the club to utilise all selections acquired prior and during the recent trade period leading into this month’s AFL national draft.,” Hawthorn said.
While the Hawks plan on bringing the pair back into the fold soon enough, the strategy has the potential to backfire badly.
As a delisted free agent Wingard is entitled to join a rival AFL club should an offer appear on the table.
The Hawks clearly viewed Wingard as part of their future when they gave him a new one-year deal in September.
But the small forward will miss the start of the 2024 season after rupturing an Achilles that same month.
Furthermore, Hawthorn would have to pay the difference in any salary offered by a rival club, if it is lower than what he would earn at the Hawks next year.
Wingard has played 218 AFL games across a 12-year career at Port Adelaide and Hawthorn.