Blackhawks News

Did Waivers Tip Blackhawks Hand?

By Keith Schultz

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.