Initially this post was only going to be about some trade rumors floating around out there that involve the Hawks. But then Andrew Shaw and Jimmy Hayes decided to go all superstar, so I’m also going to look at how their emergence might affect how the Hawks approach trade possibilities.
On Shaw and Hayes
Credit where credit is due. These guys have been phenomenal, especially Shaw, whos seems to have rightfully earned the unconditional love of Quenneville, whos gave him 20 minutes of ice time against Buffalo in every possible situation. Hayes has been good too, really good in fact. So the question is: will the Hawks still look to upgrade at forward with these two playing as well as they are?
My answer is yes, and here’s why: its unlikely that either Shaw or Hayes keep scoring at the rate they are. Maybe they do, but its uncertain and unlikely. And when you’re going for a Stanley Cup, uncertainty isn’t good. You need guys you know will be reliable and produce.
The Hawks seem to agree, as they still appear to be seeking a top six calibre f0rward. They’re not desperate for one and won’t sell the proverbial farm for one, but they are looking to upgrade, which is the right thing to do. Its more prudent to get some additional help and have guys like Shaw, Hayes and others in reserve, than give yourself no other options if you stick with the rookies and they let you down. Its all about giving yourself options.
With that said, here are some of the rumors I’ve been hearing over the past week or so.
Who the Hawks have been looking at…
This one is a bit old, but I’ve heard from many sources that its valid. The Hawks have shown some interest in the young center Derick Brassard, who up until a few weeks ago Columbus was trying really hard to get rid of. However, Brassard’s play has picked up as of late, so either his price tag will be sky high or the Blue Jackets simply won’t want to part with him anymore.
Brassard has 7 goals and 8 assists and is a minus-19 in 38 games with the Blue Jackets. He carries a $3.2 million cap hit for two more years.
If the Hawks were seriously into Brassard, they would have to consider what their plans are for some of their other young centers. In my opinion, Brassard has a higher ceiling and more offensive upside than any center the Hawks currently have. He has potential to be a 60-70 point guy and would be a long-term addition. However, a move for Brassard would cost a lot and lock down the top tow center spots, creating a concrete ceiling for guys like Kruger and Pirri.
The Hawks have reportedly shown interest in Sam Gagner from the Edmonton Oilers, Patrick Kane’s former teammate in London.However, I’ve heard that the Oilers are asking for a substantial return for the 6th overall pick in 2007, more than the Hawks are probably willing to part with.
Gagner has 5 goals and 15 assists and is a minus-3 in 35 games with the Oilers this season. He will be an RFA this summer.
Just like Brassard, if the Hawks were to acquire Gagner, it would likely be a long-term move.
Derek Roy is reportedly on the trading block for the Buffalo Sabres and the Hawks supposedly have some interest in him. According to some sources, the Hawks were scouting the Sabres heavily when they came to town on Wednesday night.
Roy has 9 goals and 16 assists and is a minus-10 in 45 games with the Sabres. He carries a cap hit of $4 million for another season.
What makes trading with Buffalo difficult is they will seek to get roster players in return and the Hawks have few they would be willing to part with. Despite this, Roy would be a good fit in Chicago. He’s a dynamic offensive player who’s also responsible defensively.
Note: there are rumors involving Derek Roy to the Canadiens. No details yet. I’ll keep you updated as best as I can.
According to a number of sources (mainly John Jaeckel over at HockeyBuzz.com) the Hawks have had serious talks with the Caps about a number of players. It looks like the Hawks they are most interested in defenseman John Erskine and forward Jeff Halpern. Erskine is a big, stay-at-home defenseman who would likely play on the bottom pair. Halpern is a fourth line center who can win faceoffs, kill penalties and chip in some offense.
Erskine has no goals and 2 assists and is a plus-1 in 24 games this year and he a $1.5 million cap hit for one more year. Halpern has 3 goals and 9 assists and is a plus-5 in 44 games and will be UFA this summer.
Teams the Hawks should be talking to…
According to several sources the Hawks haven’t had any serious talks with Anaheim about defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who many think is the defenseman the Hawks should pursue. Things may change, but my guess is that the Ducks and Hawks have disagreements on Beauchemin’s value.
Another team the Hawks should be calling is Carolina, who have a number of forwards and defenseman that are of interest. Names include, Tim Gleason, Bryan Allen, Tuomo Ruutu, Jussi Jokinen and others.
Aside from Gagner, I haven’t heard a lot of rumors involving the Hawks and Oilers. They have a few guys that are worth some consideration, such as Ryan Smyth, Eric Belanger, former Hawk Ben Eager, Ladislav Smid and high risk-reward forward Ales Hemsky if the price is right.
Thanks for reading.