May 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy (8) with the puck during the first period of game two of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
It seems like it’s an annual right of passage each year that the NHL draft rolls around or the trade deadline shows up Nick Leddy‘s name will appear in trade rumors. Well it’s time for the 2014 NHL draft so it’s time to ask the question will this be Nick Leddy’s last week in Chicago?
Bowman in his exit interview talked about the continued growth in Nick Leddy’s game which sometimes is the Kiss of Death. Bowman talked glowingly of Brandon Pirri last year and poof he was gone at the trade deadline mostly because Joel Quenneville had no use for Pirr’s non 200 foot game. Now when you look at reasons Leddy wouldn’t be returning in 2014-2015 for the Chicago Blackhawks one only has to look again to Quenneville.
Quenneville for the 2nd straight season tightened the rope on Leddy during the playoffs and it appears that of all the defenseman (no matter how much Michal Rozsival struggles) that Leddy has the littlest wiggle room to make any sort of mistake especially come May and June in Chicago. The one thing to say is most of it the blame has to go to Quenneville for making Leddy’s D pairing a revolving door all season long. Duncan Keith had Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson had each other all season long, but Leddy never knew who would be on his side from, Rozsival to Sheldon Brookbank to Michael Kostka, to even David Rundblad yet Leddy is always first in the doghouse.
The Blackhawks are pretty deep in Rockford in the Defenseman category with Stephen Johns, Klas Dahlbeck, and Adam Clendening ready to make the jump to the Blackhawks full-time let alone who knows what the Hawks are going to do with Rundblad which makes Leddy expendable in a trade and especially enticing in trade rumors.
The downsize to a Leddy trade is he’s only 23 and has improved each and every year and is one of the few Blackhawks defenseman that can carry the puck and become an offensive weapon which sometimes gets him in trouble creating opportunities going back the other way when he gets in no mans land below the goal line. Leddy should be on the #1 powperplay unit and is more offensive than defensive which most likely drives Quenneville nuts so this is why it’s time for the annual rumor that Leddy will not be with the Hawks when the draft ends.
What do you think? Will Leddy be a part of a big trade to get a Ryan Kesler or Jason Speeza?
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