Apr 13, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler (17) moves the puck in front of Calgary Flames goaltender Karri Ramo (31) during the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Kesler, Jason Spezza, or Thornton to the Chicago Blackhawks?


Since the Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews era began in Chicago, the Blackhawks have been searching for a second line center. The lack of a true second line center has been masked for several years, but the weakness reared its ugly head this season. The LA Kings showed the Blackhawks that you do indeed need a second line center. The Kings overwhelmed the Blackhawks with their positional depth.

With all of that being said, is the Blackhawks second line center for next season in the organization, or should the Blackhawks be exploring some big name options? There are three big name players that have requested out of their current situations: Ryan Kesler, Joe Thornton, and now Jason Spezza. All three of these players would fill the second line center void.

Let’s look at each player:

Ryan Kesler: 6’2 202 lbs, Center who shoots Right handed. The scouting report on Kesler according to the Hockey News is: polished two way player can play offense and defense well. He has size and is money in front of the net on the power play. His career potential is an excellent two way center. Kesler does not come without his flaws also. He sometimes crosses the line to get into people’s heads and can play the body too much.

Joe Thornton: 6’4 220lbs, Center who shoots left handed. The scouting report on Thornton according to the Hockey News is: “great on-ice vision and creates numerous scoring chances for his lines mates. He has terrific size, strength, and control with the puck. He is also good defensively”. His career potential is an excellent veteran center. Thornton is an older player and has been labeled as “not clutch” throughout his career.

Jason Spezza: 6’3 216lbs, Center who shoots right handed. The scouting report on Spezza according to the Hockey News is: He has a wealth of offensive talent; he uses his size and reach well in the offensive zone. His defense is improving. His career potential is an excellent veteran play making center. Now the knocks on Spezza are that he turns the puck over in the offensive zone too much and his play without the puck is average at best.

Now all three of these players would be great additions to the Blackhawks, but is it realistic that Blackhawks can get any of them? Kesler ‘s cap hit is 5 million, Thornton’s cap hit is 7 million, and so Spezza’s cap hit is 7 million dollars. If the Blackhawks want to acquire one of these three players they would need to move Patrick Sharp 5.9 million and someone else or Brent Seabrook 5.8 million and someone else to make the dollars matchup.

My personal preference is that Blackhawks somehow free Kesler from Vancouver. He is the youngest and best defensive player of the three players on the trade market. He also gives them another net front presence on their always struggling powe rplay. Everyone knows that Coach Quenneville values defense. Who do you think the Blackhawks should acquire??

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  • mark

    i dont think that they would need to give up either sharp or seabrook. This is what i would propose for either of the three Jeremy Morin 1st round pick Johnny oduya.

    • ŦẉỏẾẙәᵴ

      Your comprehension of the salary cap and resigning Toews and Kane needs improvement.

  • Scott

    joe thornton doesn’t want out of SJ. He said he would go ‘only if the fans want him to’. Considering the scarce possibilities to get something better in return, I don’t expect him to go.

  • AndyJ

    Kesler for Sharp and choose a bottom 3 defenseman.
    My choice would be Kesler for Sharp and Leddy

    • ŦẉỏẾẙәᵴ

      Kesler for sharp….throw in Versteeg?

      • AndyJ

        I’d gladly throw in Versteeg

      • LT

        Im in for this Leddy prob makes pot sweeter, but canuckleheads would do it pull trigger, my preference would be to keep morin, or Leddy and 27th, maybe throw danualt?

      • Sean Fitzgerald

        Thanks for the comments, Let’s throw Versteeg away..

  • Otto Linderman

    Lol joe Thortan would never come to Chicago, him and Toews hate each other. But Kessler would be great

    • LT

      I think for a ring he would, pretty sure they played on team Canada together

      • Sean Fitzgerald

        Thanks for the Comments, The Cannucks have been dismantling their franchise lately so maybe he does get traded.

  • John Spuzzum

    LoL… I’m in Vancouver, and I can say we’d love to have Seabrook… seeing as he’s a local boy, but we’re pretty set on defence. Sharp on the other hand would be the logical choice… we were already having problems finding someone to play with Kesler… and we need the scoring. Kesler’s a powerhouse of a player, but he’d actually be better as a winger… that’s the problem he’s had here… he doesn’t use his wingers.

    • Georgiaboy61

      The ‘Hawks would be crazy to move Seabs, who is one of the most-underrated d-men in the league.

  • Georgiaboy61

    Re: “The Kings overwhelmed the Blackhawks with their positional depth.”
    The Kings are indeed deep at the pivot, but the Kings did not “overwhelm” the Hawks in the western conference finals – which was decided on a fluke deflection in overtime of game seven. The Hawks have won two Stanley Cups since Kane and Toews joined the team, all the time without a “real” second-line center. The reason this was possible is because even though Kane is a winger, his playing style is much like a centers in that he has the puck on his stick a lot. The guy is an all-world player – the rules are somewhat different for that caliber of player.
    The author should get his facts straight.