Jun 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is interviewed during media day in preparation for game one of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Trade Rumors: Oduya, Hayes Keys To Blackhawks Acquiring First Overall Pick

The Chicago Blackhawks were one goal away from the Stanley Cup Final this season, and a shakeup in the off-season could be the key to winning the Cup in 2014-15. Stan Bowman and Blackhawks management wouldn’t have to wait very long to make a splash; the upcoming 2014 NHL Entry Draft possesses a great opportunity for the Blackhawks to make a trade.

It seems that a trade for the First Overall Pick, currently held by the Florida Panthers, in this year’s draft could take care of several issues for the Blackhawks: Too many quality forward prospects of value, too many NHL-ready defensemen, and too low of a first-round draft pick.

Johnny Oduya‘s name popped up in trade conversation almost immediately after the Blackhawks were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings. With his stock seemingly never higher, and the Swedish Olympian entering a contract year next season, it seems that the time has never been better to explore trade options with the 32-year old.

Oduya has been a big contributor for the Blackhawks, earning a second-pairing role with Niklas Hjalmarsson that has a defense-first mentality. Oduya was a stalwart in the offensive zone, with 3 goals and 16 points during the regular season, as well as seven points in 19 playoff games. His vision to pass the puck up-ice is nearly unprecedented for second-pairing defenseman league-wide, but on a Blackhawks team that already has Norris Trophy favourite Duncan Keith, it may be one stick too many.

The Blackhawks will look to make room for up-coming defenseman Adam Clendening, who was the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs offensive leader in 2013-14, despite being a blue-liner. Clendening is 21 years old, and coming off his second season in the American league, he is ripe for a shot to crack the Blackhawks’ roster next season. Prospect Stephen Johns is also in the mix for a spot, but with only eight games of professional experience (All with the IceHogs in 2013-14), it seems that Clendening is the more likely option.

The Blackhawks are blessed with a ‘good problem’ to have in the system, with a plethora of offensive-minded forwards, just a season or two away from being NHL-ready. Kevin Hayes is certainly in that group, with four years of college experience behind him. In a system like the Blackhawks’, Hayes could be one or two seasons away from a legitimate shot at the Blackhawks’ roster, but a team like the Florida Panthers are starving for the kind of young, raw talent Hayes provides. Hayes would join his older brother Jimmy once again, who currently plays with the Panthers after a trade mid-season that sent him south from the Windy City.

Sadly for the Blackhawks, Hayes and Oduya won’t be enough for the Panthers’ first overall pick, and Florida will still want to have a selection in the first-round. The Blackhawks will pick 28th overall at this years’ draft, and that pick can go south to Florida, where the Panthers will have a solid, but not as spectacular, first-round pick.

All-in-all, the Panthers will gain two players that could play on their roster in 2014-15, and depending on their scouting, have a player that is NHL-ready in one season or less. The Blackhawks would have their pick of a draft class that includes a hearty defenseman in Aaron Ekblad, or top forwards like Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett.


Dale Tallon and the Blackhawks certainly have a history of moves, with two major transactions in the 2013-14 season. This time, both teams could be winners, and the Panthers would inch closer to another trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, while the Blackhawks bolster a roster that looks to take home the Cup the very next season.


What’s your take? Do the Blackhawks really need the First Overall pick? Is Oduya and Hayes too high a price to pay? Leave your responses in the comments below!


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Tags: Chicago Blackhawks Chicago Blackhawks Trade Rumors Johnny Oduya Trade Rumors

  • LT

    Hayes never signed with Hawks, so all your trading is his rights, so it will prob take more. I would rather keep oduya and ship Leddy out, but this doesn’t shed dollars, how about a straight trade oduya and Hayes for bjugstad, he can center Kane and saad, nice size, good scoring punch. I would think they are going to want 4-5 guys for top pick. But would be great to see Stan do something right! Maybe he can send them Versteeg and Bix

    • Skylar Peters

      I personally didn’t mind Bickell this season, but Versteeg is a long shot lol. You don’t have any faith in Teuvo? I think he’ll thrive in 2LC position next season.

      • LT

        I like Teuvo, he was amazing at world juniors, but Q doesn’t seem to have much patience for young guys. Bix just doesn’t use his size, he thinks he’s a skill guy and his niche is planting his big ass in front of crease and pick up garbage, not sniper! Lol

  • Jase Robertson

    Well lets 1st pretend that this scenario is even remotely possible. If the Hawks could trade Oduya, and Hayes’ rights for the 1st overall pick you absolutely do it.
    Now in reality there is no way Florida would take that deal for the 1st overall. I am not sure you could crack the top 10-15 with that deal. Leddy, Morin, Nordstrom, and most likely Smith would have to all be in there for #1

    • lizmcneill

      Yeah, I like that the question is “is this too much?”, not “how drunk would Stan have to get Uncle Dale to get him to agree to this?”

      • MySpoonIsTooBig

        The answer to that question is unfortunately “there’s not enough Scotch in all of the Binny’s Beverage Depots in Chicago combined”

        • Otto Linderman

          These comments are perfection

  • merkinmuffy

    The Hawks would have to wait for long for a draft pick to develop. They need someone who can help them now. Better to trade Oduya and Hayes for a bruising center or defenseman.

  • John Barr

    Why you want to weaken your defensive core? Unless we are just not going to be able to resign Odooooyaaa, expecting Clendening to just hop in there and be a top 4 defenseman is a bit of a stretch. Why do the Hawks need a #1 pick?? I do not think you made a good enough case that it even needs to happen.
    Certianly, if you want to get a 2nd line center from another team you going to have to give up something. But do you really want to give up a lot for an aging Thorton? What would you be willing to give for a Kesler who has been injury prone as of late? When you were not willing to keep an injury prone Bolland?

    • EmyR

      It’s not a problem of being able to necessarily resign Oduya, it’s being able to resign him at the price and years they want.

      Oduya will be signing the same year that will already have an increase in salary through the extensions of Toews, Kane, Saad, and possibly Leddy and Kruger. I guess if he stayed at his current price, that wouldn’t be too bad, but it’s unlikely he wouldn’t want at least a small increase. Also, keeping Oduya for extended time (without moving a bottom pairing guy) means there is not a blockage in the pipe and the younger guys are not getting a chance to get up to become NHL players. It’s a waste to have all these high defensive prospect and for them to be stuck in the AHL. Obviously they couldmove Rosival or Leddy going, but Rosival has a NMC and is less likely to get much in return while Leddy is still extremely young for a defensemen and getting better every year. If someone goes, no matter who, it’ll hurt the defense in the short term for sure, but it could be what is best for the future of the team.

      I do agree though that Clendening jumping to the top 4 is slim to none and it would require a reworking of the pairings, at least a little. If Oduya was to be traded, they’d need to replace him with a prospect that is ready to be a shut down defender rather than a offensive guy like Clendening. Dahlbeck could potentially play that role and Johns as well. Or maybe Nick Leddy will finally make the jump.

      As for centers, I wouldn’t give up much at all for any of the UFAs on the market. I’d love Kesler on the team, but his asking price would be too much.

    • Jim C

      ODUYA SUCKS…stop it right there.

  • JimChaplin

    To move up two spots in the draft last year (from 20 to 18) the Sharks had to give up their 2nd round pick. To move up 27 spots to the #1 pick, a pick that will likely give you a franchise player, you think the Hawks would only have to throw in their 4th best defenseman and a guy that Florida can have for free if they wait a few months?
    Puff puff pass…

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      26 spots. NJ is booted back to 30th overall (which is better than no 1st round pick, the original punishment), which bumps the ‘Hawks from 28 to 27. Not that it matters in this scenario…

  • MySpoonIsTooBig

    If you honestly believe that Oduya + Hayes + 27th overall pick would be enough to get the #1 overall pick from Florida you’re straight up delusional. When Tallon said he’d be willing to move down from #1 he was talking about moving to the 7 – 10 range, and Oduya + Hayes wouldn’t be enough to convince Florida to drop down 6 spots let alone 26

  • mark

    i think that it would be great if we can pick first overall BUT i think that we would first have to sighn hayes for a 2 year contract. we should probably also get a 2nd line center such as spezza kesler Thornton etc.

  • Jeffrey Wayne Koch

    I’d have to say go for it. Chicago needs help on the d line. Would not be a bad idea if they were to trade sharp as well. He is getting up in age but I would hate to see him go.

  • Jim C

    IDIOTS…this is the dumbest, most ill-conceived piece of tripe I have ever seen masquerading as hockey journalism You should be ashamed.

  • Tony Say Yarealsoon

    Is this REALLY a rumor did you just diet down out of boredom and make this up? You didn’t even know the Hawks have not signed Hayes????? Maybe you should know what you’re talking about before you write about it?

  • Jim C

    Oduya and Hayes would not net you A 3RD RD PICK, LET ALONE FIRST OVERALL…YOU GUYS ARE idiots

  • LT

    The guy who wrote the article said oduya and Hayes and hawks first round, some are just commenting on his speculation, Hayes should be a beast, but he is not signed, Tallon would want 4-5 guys plus pick to deal with hawks, pipe dream won’t happen for us.