Far from a blockbuster deal, the Chicago Blackhawks acquired Center Michal Handzus from the San Jose Sharks, for a 4th round draft pick. Blackhawks General Manger, Stan Bowman, has never been one for the trade deadline dramatics, and instead is more prone to minor deals(like the Handzus deal) to give his already solid, and trusted core of players a little help. With the Handzus trade, Bowman is hoping that it will help with the depth at center, especially in the faceoff dot, where Handzus is winning 55% percent of his draws. It will be interesting to see which line Handzus is slotted on, but regardless, he will help with the depth at center, and with the Hawks success in the faceoff circle. A minor move, to give an already very strong team a boost. A typical Stan Bowman style move.
Now that the Hawks brass have made a move to address the center/faceoffs issue, what about the defenseman depth issue? It’s no secret that the 2nd defensive pairing for the Hawks of Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya, which started the season very effective, has struggled mightily as of late. The question is whether they can turn it around, or is new blood necessary for the Hawks to fix this problem, moving forward to the playoffs. One name that has popped up often is Mark Streit, defenseman and captain for the New York Islanders. Streit’s situation with the Islanders is that he wants an extension to remain there, however the Islanders(and every other team in the NHL) are reluctant to offer an extension to any player who is 38 years old, and nearing the end of their career, like Streit. If an extension isn’t signed before the deadline, it is more than likely that he will be traded.
This fits right into Stan Bowmans wheel-house for trades. Streit would simply be a rental player, and likely not resigned after the season, if he were to be traded to the Blackhawks. Remember that Bowman isn’t looking to give the team a face-lift at the deadline, he is merely looking to give it a shot of botox for a boost in their run for the Stanley Cup.
Streit is a puck-moving offensive defenseman, which would be a great fit for the Hawks, as they could insert him onto the struggling Power Play unit, to give it a nice boost. The question is whether he will resign with the Islanders, and if he doesn’t, how much will it take to get him. Bowman is very stingy when it comes to selling the future, especially for a rental player. So if the price is right, Mark Streit could very well find himself in an indian head sweater by the end of the week.
Do you think Streit would be a good fit for the Hawks? If not him, what d-man do you think the Hawks could/should pursue?