With the Olympic break fast approaching in the NHL, the trade speculation has already started. The Chicago Blackhawks under Stan Bowman have been very active at previous deadlines. Over the years, the Blackhawks have acquired at the deadlines: in 2009-10 Kim Johnsson, Nick Boynton, Nick Leddy , in 2010-11 Michael Frolik ,Chris Campoli, in 2011-12, and lastly in 2012-12 Michal Handzus. The Blackhawks acquired role players to supplement their core. Blackhawks fans looking for a big splash at the deadline should look in a different direction. The biggest need for the Blackhawks is a center position to player either on the second or third line. Since everyone is speculating on potential trade partners, so shall I. Here are three names floating around the trade market:
Sam Gagner: The biggest center on the market is Sam Gagner. Gagner had played with Patrick Kane in the OHL, so everyone assumes they can play together in the NHL. Gagner is a young talent who would fit the Blackhawks needs. Gagner is on a one year deal and his looking to be paid, which is a problem for the Blackhawks. He can play center and the wing. He is smallish and can’t win battles in the corners.
The Oilers are not going to give up Gagner for draft picks and let’s say Nick Leddy. The Blackhawks would have to give up Teuvo Teravainen in any trade for Gagner. I am guessing but the Blackhawks will not give him up. I would not hold my breath on Ganger coming back to the Blackhawks.
Thomas Vanek: The second biggest name on the trade market is Thomas Vanek. Vanek has already been traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the New York Islanders. The Islanders want to resign Vanek, but could trade him if he is not willing to take their offer. Vanek is a big veteran scorer, however Vanek is not a match for the Blackhawks. He is a left winger and won’t come cheap. He is currently a 7.1 million dollar cap hit. Vanek probably could be had for a young defenseman. Vanek is a no go for the Blackhawks.
Mike Cammalleri: Cammalleri is currently on IR with a concussion. He is a free agent after this season and Calgary is desperately trying to re-sign him. If he does not resign the Flames will have to trade him. Cammalleri comes with a 6 million dollar cap hit. He is savvy veteran forward that play all three positions. Cammalleri could be a potential fit for the Blackhawks. He is a veteran center who should have a desire to play for a winner. The Blackhawks give him the best chance to win. I would speculate that Cammalleri has the best chance to wear the indian sweater this year.
Honorable mentions: Andrew Ladd- Ladd is NOT coming back to the Blackhawks despite the “rumors”. Ladd is the Captain of a reinvigorated Winnipeg Jets and they would be foolish to trade them. The Ladd rumor has been started because Kris Versteeg was brought back. There is not going to be a 2010 reunion.
Those are my speculations on who the Blackhawks might or might not acquire at the deadline. I could be completely wrong or completely right only time will tell.
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