The trade deadline is coming up on March 1st and the Chicago Blackhawks find themselves in a bind. After an early exit from the playoffs last season against the pesky St Louis Blues, the franchise finds themselves in a bit of predicament this season. Sitting in second place, with 22 games left in the season, the Blackhawks have lost a little of their swagger that they have had in the past. Weaknesses have been exploited namely on defense, and towards the 3rd and 4th line changes. Significant slumps by Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook have hurt the Hawks and have caused grumblings from fans towards the seasoned veterans.
Brent Seabrook has been mentioned in trade rumors (although he has a hefty salary which will hurt his trade value), along with young defensemen Trevor Van Riemsdyk, who missed nearly 6 weeks with a shoulder injury. Van Riemsdyk has had his share of injuries missing nearly all of his rookie season in 2014-2015 with injuries as well. Other pieces can be moved, but will they? I mean, what can the Hawks really do at the trade deadline especially since the Hawks only have about 732,830 dollars left of cap space on the year.
The Blackhawks have had their fair share of rental players in the past during their championship runs of the past. The Blackhawks have payed heavy prices for the use of Andrew Ladd, and Antoine Vermette in recent years for short playoff runs. Short playoff runs haven’t sat well with the fans nor General Manager Stan Bowman.
Stan Bowman has said in a recent press conference, that he is not planning on making any moves this trade deadline. Fear of past rentals have scared him, and he doesn’t feel his team needs it. If Bowman is bluffing he’s doing a pretty good job, because other than a few rumors the Blackhawks camp has been pretty silent. There are a few key names which we will talk about here in a little bit. Last week Bowman announced that he has no intentions of moving his rookies and continued his stance that he doesn’t believe any movements will be done.
With that being said, the Dallas Stars are seeing their season slip away which means they will be sellers and that means key pieces will be available. Former Hawks, Patrick Sharp and Jonny Oduya could be in play along with other Stars players Patrick Eaves, and Lauri Korpikoski,
From the Detroit Red Wings, Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist have both been mentioned in Blackhawks trade moves this year and the potential is definitely there. While Tatar is probably better financially for the Blackhawks, Nyquist would probably fit into the style of play head coach Joel Quenneville would be looking for and is definitely an easier piece to move for Red Wings GM Ken Holland.
Plenty of other names are being floated around. There is always a lot of speculation around this time, but guys like Brian Gionta, Jarome Iginla, Michael Stone, and Neil Yakupov have all been mentioned in the last few weeks as having connections to the Hawks. The Blackhawks are trying to stay away from trading their first round pick this year, because the NHL draft will be hosted in Chicago this year. Of course, if the Blackhawks keep winning like they did tonight against Minnesota, maybe they won’t need to make any moves after all.