Blackhawks News

What are the Odds?

By Keith Schultz

Free agency starts this Sunday, and the biggest name that has been rumored to get traded to free up cap-space room before this season’s  free agency has been Niklas Hjalmarsson.  What are the odds that he actually gets moved?  If you look at all the trades that GM Stan Bowman has completed in the past calendar year, the odds are not very strong that Hjalmarsson gets moved.  Here is the list of all the trades that have affected the roster since July 1, 2011.

-traded Brian Connelly to the Calgary Flames for Brendan Morrison

-traded 2013 2nd and 3rd round draft picks to Winnipeg Jets for Johnny Oduya

-traded John Scott to the NY Rangers for a 2012 5th round draft pick

That’s it, since last years free agent signing period.  Three trades is all Bowman has done in 365 calendar days, so that the growing expectations that fans have that the Hawks are going to do some big moves are really unfounded.  Since bailing out the Hawks from salary cap jail, Bowman has not been a man of action, but a man that plans to continually build the roster from within while trying to add veteran guys to fill in the holes.  Here is the list of last season’s free agent signings at the July 1 date

Steve Montador

Jamal Mayers

Sean O’Donnell

Andrew Brunette

Daniel Carcillo

Last season’s big splash were four old guys and a borderline lunatic on skates. Only Mayers came in and played to the expectations that were set for him which granted him another season in Chicago. The last part of the Bowman plan fails! The old veteran guys do not work out with the young core.

There are  stories circulating  that the Hawks ownership wants to shake out of the first round busts mode, and get back to the promised land of the 2010 Stanley Cup Champs.  Bowman seems to have a course set and it doesn’t look like he’s about to change that course no matter the speculation or expectations.  The problem with the course set by Bowman is that even though they are very young , the Hawks core continue to put NHL seasons and games in their rear view mirror.  Bowman must get these guys the right pieces to truly compete for the Stanley Cup in the 2012-2013 season.. If Bowman doesn’t find a trade to his liking for Hjalmarsson or Michael Frolik there will not be a lot of money to go after any free agents of significance.

Will Hjalmarsson get moved by July 4? or will there be any other trades announced in the coming week?  Time will tell but if recent history has anything to say about it #4 will remain wearing the Indian Sweater come October. What do you think will be the outcome of Hjalmarsson?