As we get closer to Friday night’s first round of the draft the trade rumors are swirling around the interwebs at a rapid pace. Friday night should be very interesting and exciting. Not only will the night be filled with the stars of the future, but we could see some stars of today getting a change of scenery. There are a lot of big names flying around this time of year, so with that being said, all of this article is pure speculation.
The most intriguing name that has come up in the last couple of days is Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets. It sounds like Kane and the Jets are not close to agreeing on a long term deal and they might be looking to move the 20 year old forward. Of all the names that have come up the last week or so, this is the one that makes the most sense for the Blackhawks. Kane is a physical forward who has a big offensive upside. Kane set career highs this past season with 30 goals and 27 assists. He is the right combination of offensive skill and toughness. I think a line with E. Kane, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews would be a fantastic combination. Kane will turn 21 and has 3 full seasons in the NHL so if he is truly available Stan Bowman better be making some phone calls.
Another interesting name that is reportedly on the block is Brandon Dubinsky of the New York Rangers. Dubinsky is coming off the worst offensive season of his career, which could be the reason the Blue Shirts want to move the 26 year old center. Brandon only scored 10 goals this past season and added a mere 24 assists in 77 games. I wouldn’t think the Blackhawks will have any interest in Dubinsky, despite the need for another solid center. First off, the Hawks already have a Dubinsky on the team, his name is Dave Bolland. And secondly, there is no way they would want to take his $4.2 million cap hit for the next three seasons.
Talked is heating up again that the Anaheim Ducks are looking to trade Bobby Ryan. Why in the world they would want to move their best young player is beyond me. Reports say that the Ducks had a trade all but done with the Buffalo Sabres to send Ryan and goaltender Jonas Hiller to Buffalo for Ryan Miller. The Ducks pulled their offer back after Miller suffered a concussion due to a hit from Boston’s Milan Lucic. It will be interesting to see if Buffalo tries to revisit this deal. If Ryan is truly available he will be the prize offseason acquisition but will come with a very steep price. Whoever can complete a trade for Ryan will be getting a 24 forward, who has scored at least 31 goals in each of the last 4 seasons, who is under contract through 2015. He does come with a $5.1 million dollar cap hit as well.
The Blackhawks should look into acquiring either Kane or Ryan. The have one of the highest rated farm systems that is loaded with prospects. I have no problem parting ways with a Jeremy Morrin or Mark McNeill if that means getting a 30 goal scorer, in his early 20s, who has already proven themselves at the NHL level. Some people question Stan Bowman, whether or not he has the guts to pull off a big trade or not. You would think the front office would want to make a big splash this summer after back to back 1st round exits. The Hawks have plenty of young talent to be able to trade with anyone. They will also need to get creative and try and move guys like Niklas Hjalmarsson and Michael Frolik.
Friday night will be a very exciting night for hockey fans. We might get a peek at the direction the Blackhawks and other teams are heading. Will Rick Nash finally punch his ticket out of Columbus? Will the disgruntled Roberto Luongo be sent packing? It should make for a very fun night in the social media universe. Be sure to check back all weekend as Blackhawk Up will have all your draft news covered.