With the NHL Trade Deadline coming this Monday, Feb. 26, the Chicago Blackhawks are poised to be sellers for the first time in nine seasons. Though they are technically not mathematically as of yet, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has already stated that the team will not be buyers this time around.
Here is a comprehensive list of transactions that have been completed by Bowman and the team, as well as every rumor concerning every player that may be moved by the deadline, as Bowman tries to get picks and/or players to prepare for next season. As transactions happen and new rumors surface, this list will be updated.
Ville Pokka – On Feb. 15, the Blackhawks traded Pokka to the Ottawa Senators for forward Chris DiDomenico. DiDomenico, who was previously traded to the Blackhawks in 2010 by the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of the Viktor Stalberg-Kris Versteeg trade, has reported to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL.
Michal Kempny – On Feb. 19, the Blackhawks traded Kempny to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a conditional third round pick in this year’s NHL Draft.
Tommy Wingels – Wingels is the consummate role player. He has been one of the bright spots in a down year for the Blackhawks. He has been given top line minutes with Jonathan Toews as of late, signifying that he is being “showcased” to other teams.
As of press time, the San Jose Sharks and the Minnesota Wild are the two teams linked to Wingels. Both teams had scouts at last night’s game against the Sharks. According to John Jaeckel, the Winnipeg Jets have also started to inquire about Wingels. The win-win scenario for Bowman would be that Wingels fetches at least a second round pick and that he would come back to resign with the team in the summer. Wingels, a Wilmette native, is the kind of player you need in a team that is in transition.
Tomas Jurco – After David Runblad was unconditionally waived, everybody hoped that Stan would not acquire another asset like him ever again. Then came Jurco. A full calendar year ago. Stan gave up a third round pick in the 2017 draft for Jurco, hoping that a change of scenery would unleash the potential within. Jurco spent most of this season with the IceHogs, and has been middling at best with the Blackhawks. He has been given top 6 minutes as of late, so hopefully he fetches something. Anything.
Ryan Hartman – There are two different rumors concerning Hartman. One report has it that the Philadelphia Flyers were kicking the tires on him early this week, as part of a larger trade that included him and Artem Anisimov for Valtteri Filppula, Travis Sandheim and Samuel Morin. Filppula is a fast center and really good with faceoffs, but the gem in this trade is Morin. Morin is a young, big, defensive prospect that the Blackhawks currently do not have in their system.
Another team reported to be heavily interested in Hartman is the Winnipeg Jets. Being a first round pick by the Hawks in 2013, pending RFA and West Dundee native Hartman is the kind of grinder that a contender needs during a Cup run, something that the Jets need as they prepare for their first Big Dance in three seasons. An ideal target is another RFA, defenseman Josh Morrissey.
Artem Anisimov – With the Derrick Brassard deal coming down yesterday, the best center in the market now would have to be Anisimov. Brassard may be faster, but Anisimov is more bruising, more adept to crash the net and score that greasy goal 5on5 or on the PP.
Apart for the prior Flyers rumor associated with Hartman, another team that has been to be heavy on Anisimov all week is the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was reported earlier this week that Columbus made a big push for Arty, but Stan said “they would rather keep him”. All this happened, by the way, before the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Brassard. As of last night, Columbus has reportedly doubled their efforts on Anisimov.
My two cents, any trade that doesnt include a first rounder for Anisimov would be a loss for Bowman. But of course, any trade would have to be greenlit by Anisimov himself. He has a no movement clause that turns into a modified no movement clause come July 1st.
Connor Murphy – Murphy’s name appeared last night on the radar, with talks coming from the Flyers.
Brandon Saad – When all is said and done about this brutal season, Saad’s name will be chronicled as one of the reasons why it went all wrong. Not because he is a bad player. Far from it. It s just that the slump he has been in this year is so epic in proportions. His advanced metrics are still really good. He is a young player with two Cups on his belt and still a lot to give. He was just truly snake bitten. And the fact that the slump coincided with him being brought back from Columbus to jump start Toews is just one of those “perfect storm” things for the Blackhawks.
Should Saad be traded again? No. Unless the return is mind-boggling.
Brent Seabrook – Seabrook has the pedigree, yes. But that contract. He has the experience, for sure. But that contract. Three Stanley Cup wins. But that damn contract.
Is it possible to move Seabrook? Yes. It would have to include eating part of his salary.
Is it prudent to move Seabrook? That’s a more complicated answer. If the Blackhawks were to somehow overhaul the d-corps next year, and Seabs is still here, he would be playing a third pairing role. Its just the way it works when Father Time is your enemy.
So, yes, its a weird time to be a Blackhawks fan. And of course, a lot more can break between today and Monday. Rest assured that whatever breaks, whenever it breaks, I, along with our great team here at Windy City Chronicle, will be here to report it to you when it happens.