Trading Marian Hossa’s contract this offseason became a priority for the Blackhawks. But no one thought that a fan favorite in Vinnie Hinostroza would be dealt along with Hossa’s cap hit.
The Blackhawks have traded Hossa, Hinostroza, Jordan Oesterle, and a 2019 third round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for Marcus Kruger, MacKenzie Entwistle, Jordan Maletta, Andrew Campbell and a 2019 fifth-round draft pick. Let’s breakdown the deal shall we…
The Blackhawks re-signed Hinostroza in June. Drafted by the Blackhawks in 2012, Hinostroza appeared to be apart of the Blachawks future after an impressive third season wearing the Indian head sweater. He’s a bottom six forward but can play in the top 6 and be productive. Some writers even had him penciled in as a top line forward with Brandon Sadd and Jonathan Toews.
The Illinois native had 7 goals and 18 assists last season and showcased his skill in the offensive end. He was also solid on the back check due to his speed. It’s tough for the forward group and fans to see Hinostroza go.
The other player in the deal from the Blackhawks is Oesterle. The 26-year old left shot defenseman appeared in 55 games for the Blackhawks last season totalling 5 goals and 10 assists. The former Edmonton Oiler played alongside Duncan Keith for a chunk of the season and had some solid offensive numbers.
Oesterle would have been a nice piece to bring to camp and compete for a spot, but with the Blackhawks overwhelming number of young defenseman, shipping him to Arizona opens up a shot for a young prospect to step in. Henri Jokiharju, Gustav Forsling, and Carl Dalhstrom are names to keep an eye on come camp and the preseason. These guys will be in the mix for a spot and have a higher upside than Oesterle.
As for the return, Kruger is back! The Blackhawks traded Kruger to Vegas last offseason in an effort to give them some much needed cap room. Kruger had most of his success in Chicago on the penalty kill. He was the go to guy to kill off the 2 min man advantage. Toews took his spot last season on the kill but now with Krugar back in the fold, it will take some burden off of the captain. Kruger was always an underrated forward but the main question is will he be able to produce like he did before? It’s now being reported that Kruger played through a sports hernia last season, Coyotes GM John Chayka said and had surgery two weeks ago. This is huge news regarding Kruger’s chances to get back to being the player he used to be. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
In addition, the other name to key in on for this trade is MacKenzie Entwistle. The 18- year old right wing was drafted by the Coyotes 69th overall in the 2017 draft. An interesting note I found on him was that he was voted as one of the best penalty killers in the OHL last season by coaches.
The other two players, C Jordan Maletta and D Andrew Campbell are nothing special. Campbell could be a depth guy they keep around to play in Rockford. He has played in the AHL most of his career. Maletta has logged 27 points in 105 AHL games and his chances of making the NHL roster are slim.
Now according to capfriendly.com, the Blackhawks have $9,300,705 in projected cap space. An interesting development that was reported shortly after the trade was according to David Pagnotta of theforthperiod.com, the Blackhawks have been talking with the Canadians about Max Pacioretty and the Hurricanes about Jeff Skinner respectively. Both players are on the last year of their deals and the Blackhawks have enough space to acquire one of them. What could it cost them? You would be talking about one of your best prospects and probably some draft capital. Pacioretty may be cheaper because the Canadians want him gone ” as soon as possible.” If I had to choose, I’d want Pacioretty because he would make the Blackhawks top six very, very good.
You can follow me on Twitter: @ThomasGibbons_3