May 18, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) during the third period in game one of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Chicago Blackhawks defeats the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Tonight is the night where kids’ dreams come true. The future of the NHL begins tonight. But tonight is also a night where teams make trades for big names, to create cap space or to stockpile more draft picks.
Stan Bowman is known for being a mover on draft night. Last year he moved Michael Frolik and Dave Bolland in order to acquire draft picks. This year, it seems that Bowman is in the position of moving some big names to free up cap space for some contract extensions or to bring in a big name like Ryan Kessler
The big name that has gained some traction is defensemen Brent Seabrook. The 29-year-old had an interesting year last year. His numbers weren’t atrocious yet just by watching you could tell that he wasn’t the same Brent Seabrook. With all the talent in the system defensively, now may be the best time to sell high on Seabrook. Whether it’s for cap space or part of the package for Jason Spezza, trading Seabrook has grown on me.
David Rundblad, Stephen Johns and Adam Clendening are just some of the names that could instantly come into camp next year and play to NHL caliber level. Johns and Clendening are the two that everyone likes to take about as the future, but Rundblad was the guy that Bowman traded for mid-season last year (and traded a draft pick for), so the Hawks are high on him as well.
It just feels like the time for Bowman to pull the trigger here. Seabrook is coming off of a down year, the Hawks need some cap room to re-sign Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews plus there are the rumors of the Hawks involved in trade talks for Jason Spezza or another big name guy. If they are actually indeed in on these guys, Seabrook should and would be involved in any package going back to get those guys.
If Seabrook can survive through the draft then expect him to be on the roster come the start of the season. Bowman knows what Seabrook can be traded for and is only going to do it if the return can help the Hawks in the long run. There’s no harm in keeping Seabrook this year and then shopping him around the deadline if a team comes calling.
The Hawks’ are playing with house money here. They are in control of this situation. Spezza wants to come to the Hawks, most big names have put the Hawks down on their shortlist. The Hawks can pretty much name the price for Seabrook or they can put him in a deal for one of these players. If the right deal comes around, Seabrook gets his bags packing. If it doesn’t, the Hawks have no problem keeping Seabrook on the team. Tonight is the key night of the draft. Futures are determined for the young players and current players can find themselves with new homes by the time the weekend ends. For certain Blackhawks players, they are on the edge of their seats hoping that they can make it through the weekend.