Apr 19, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) during the first period of game four of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals against the Phoenix Coyotes at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Did Waivers Tip Blackhawks Hand?

The Chicago Blackhawks will make their first pick of the draft next Friday night in the #18 slot.  Did they tip their hand in the direction that they may go with that pick on Friday when they placed Alexander Salak on waivers?  There is only one goalie that is considered that talented to go that high in the draft this year, but history says that goalies don’t get picked at 18.  Not a single goalie was selected in the first round last season, and only two goalies have been picked in the first round the last 3 seasons.

If the Hawks do pull the trigger with the goalie pick at 18 it will be Malcolm Subban, younger brother of Montreal Canadians defenseman P.K. Subban.  Subban is the highest rated goalie in North America going into the draft.  In one mock draft they have the Hawks picking Subban at 18.  Salak being released could steer the Hawks to  make this pick even though they have much bigger and more pressing needs at the center position and a need for  help on the blue line.

The official Blackhawks  NHL Draft selections are as follows.

Round 1 Pick 18

Round 2 Pick 48

Round 3 Pick 79

Round 4 Pick 109

Round 5 Pick 139

Round 5 Pick 149

Round 6 Pick 169

Round 7 Pick 199

These are plenty of picks for GM Stan Bowman to wheel and deal. Last season the Blackhawks had two first round picks which were Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault, but Bowman struck gold in the 5th round with the selection of Andrew Shaw who had a very good and unexpected rookie campaign in 2012.

Salak obviously was just an appetizer for things to come. Who will be the next player moved?  Will Michael Frolik or Niklas Hjalmarrson be the next pieces to become former Blackhawks like many suggest they will?

The one name that keeps coming up that as potential trade bait is Patrick Kane.  He had his weakest season as a pro this past season, but these rumors seem to be just offseason boredom by people with nothing more to add.  Kane is the core for this team, and another team would have to put together an almost ludicrous offer  together for the Blackhawks to move one of its best offensive weapons.  Kane is still only 23 years old and even though he likes to party in the offseason, he should be wearing an Indian sweater for many more seasons to come so that a Stanley Cup party can return to Chicago again.

Around the NHL

- The first pre-draft trade occured Friday between the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning

- The Lightning get a potential #1 goalie in the deal, aquiring  goalie Anders Lindback,  Center Kyle Wilson, and a 2012 7th round draft pick.

- The Predators get two 2012 2nd round draft picks, a 2013 3rd round draft pick and goalie Sabastien Caron

- This trade means that another potential goalie prospect that Stan Bowman could have made a deal for although it was highly unlikely is now off the market in Lindback

- Twitterverse was all over  Columbus Blue Jackets Rick Nash finally getting traded, and it seems more and more likely that this will happen in the next week before  the draft.


Tags: Featured Malcolm Subban Michael Frolik Montreal Canadians Nashville Predators P.K. Subban Patrick Kane Popular Stan Bowman Tampa Bay Lightning

  • EdDomaracki

    Does Kane want to leave? All this talk about trading him when he has a NTC is interesting.

  • HockeyBroad

    Can’t imagine Salak on waivers was “tipping their hand”. More likely, it’s with Crawford, Emery, Hutton, Richards, Salak, Carruth, and Simpson all signed, the team had to move a signed goalie out of the system. Salak had a poor season – his win % was below .500, he was out with injury half the season, and was …. “emotional” on the ice — made him the obvious choice. (Although I’d be surprised if Richards ever plays above AHL level w/ Hawks.)  If the Hawks dangled him as trade bait, there probably weren’t any takers… but on waivers, somebody could pick him up cheap. Or he can be loaned out to another club (Europe) to fulfill contract?

  • CodyPugh

    I am somewhat surprised by the waiving of Salak, however its understandable considering the progress of Carruth and the success of Hutton this year.
    With that said, while I think it is possible, I think its unlikely the Hawks take Malcolm Subban at 18. First off, this is an organization that has strengthened its system’s depth in net over the past two seasons with the additions of Carruth and Hutton, so taking a goalie at 18 would be kind of redundant. Second, this is an organization that has consistently shown its ability to find talented netminders in later rounds. Burning a mid-first round pick on a goalie just does not seem to fit what the Hawks like to do at the draft.
    I think the 3 most likely scenarios that play out are:
    1. Hawks trade away the pick as part of a package to acquire an NHL roster player
    2. Hawks trade their 1st and either their 2nd or 3rd to move into the top 10 and draft a higher quality prospect
    3. Hawks take a defenseman

  • Oakforest72

    They need a center or defensman before they ever need to take Subban in the first round! But does anyone see Crawford, Emery, Carruth or Hutton turning into Quick and winning a Cup?

    • CodyPugh

       @Oakforest72 The Kings win the Cup and all of a sudden you need a Jonathan Quick to win a Stanley Cup. Ever heard of the Detroit Red Wings? You don’t need to be a great goaltender to win a Stanley Cup if the team in front of you plays well enough.

  • Oakforest72

    No you don’t need Quick. Niemi had a 2.63 GAA in the 2010 playoffs.  Do you think any of the top 4 in the organization are consistent enough to win a cup?