It is April, which means teams are either continuing their run at the Cup, or they are gearing up for next season.  For the Chicago Blackhawks, it is the latter.  With the Chicago Blackhawks out of the playoffs due to what this author calls a lackadaisical effort, the Blackhawks turn to the off-season.  Stan Bowman, earlier this month stated that he was very disappointed in the Hawks effort in the playoffs and promised major changes.

Scott Darling was one of the first casualties, being traded for a third round pick to the Carolina Hurricanes.  But examining this trade, this is not bad for the Blackhawks.  Scott Darling is from Lemont, Illinois and has overcome a lot to get to the NHL.  The netminder had overcome an alcohol addiction while playing in Maine, and many people had told him he would not make it.  Now he gets the chance to be a starter somewhere.  Darling is set to be a unrestricted free agent on July 1st and the Hurricanes will have the first chance to talk to Darling and see if they can sign him longterm.

In the long run, this helps the Hawks.  The Hawks gain their third round draft pick back after losing theirs for signing Johnny Oduya and Tomas Jurco.  This gives the Hawks 10 picks for the draft this year.  Stan Bowman released a statement, “We could count on Scott in any situation as he was always reliable.  We appreciate his contributions to the Blackhawks organization — including a (Stanley) Cup Championship team — and we wish him well as he continues his career in Carolina.”

While this is a small move at the surface, it pretty much guarantees that Crawford will be with the Hawks this year.  What other moves the Blackhawks do remains to be seen, but you can expect they are not close to being done.

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