Jan 21, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya (27) looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Chicago won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks always seem to struggle at the end of January and early February usually because of the schedule which includes a long road trip to the West Coast, and traditionally this brings along with it trade rumors so it seems like this is about the time that these rumors are going to start heating up with the Blackhawks in a bit of a funk at the tail end of the Ice Show road trip.
First of all let’s take a look back at Stan Bowman’s moves at the trade deadline in previous years
2010- Traded for Nick Boynton
2011- Traded Jack Skille for Michael Frolik, Traded for Chris Campoli
2012- Traded Picks for Johnny Oduya, Traded John Scott for a Draft Pick
2013-Traded A 4th Round Pick For Michal Handzus
2014-Traded Brandon Pirri for Picks, Traded a 2nd round pick for David Rundblad
So you can see Bowman has made some trades at the deadline but they have never been a splash and usually an under the radar move so that brings us to this season’s trade deadline and for the first time in a long time the rumor isn’t going to be a 2nd line center which seems to have been the trade deadline rumor for half a decade now.
The Blackhawks in their current funk have two opportunities of need right now, one of them is tightening up their 3rd defensive paring, and the 2nd need is some help in the bottom six that can play 200 feet.
It seems crazy that we are even talking about defense but that’s the problem when the Hawks are forced to dress Michal Rozsival night in and night out. The Trevor van Riemsdyk really hurt the Hawks with exception of the emergence of David Rundblad starting to become comfortable and playing adequate as the Twitter hashtag has labeled him. To go along with that the Hawks are to have two young studs (use to be three before the Adam Clendening trade) in Rockford. Klas Dahlbeck looked pretty good in his audition with the Hawks while Stephen Johns has been struggling to stay healthy. So it seems like a trade for a defender isn’t likely but still possible if Bowman feels like he’s getting a steal.
The other position is a bottom six forward which has been pretty weak as of late with the Marcus Kruger line not collecting a point in over a month. They eat up time and space but on night’s like Tuesday when they struggle they look pretty rough and not producing points highlights it. There are tons of Toronto Maple Leafs on the trading block that could fill this role but that would mean that Bowman would have to trade some of his Rockford talent and a player on the roster now. The case for this not happening is of course the return of Kris Versteeg in the next couple of weeks from his hand injury which should solidify the bottom 6 with Joakim Nordstrom moving back to the press box.
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The wild card of course or problem is Daniel Carcillo. Bowman and Quenneville believe he fills a role on the team but he mucks up the entire roster and potential moves. It seems like the Blackhawks trade deadline moves actually will be players returning from injury and not some desperation move by Bowman, but the way the Hawks play the next couple of weeks could influence his decision.
One thing that does tip the ppossibilityof a trade is that this is a Stanley Cup or Bust season with the Toews/Kane contracts on the horizon. If Bowman thinks a minor move is necessary I see him pulling the trigger because next year their will be a purge of salaries.
What do you think? Is a Trade going to happen or will it be pretty quiet business as usual for Bowman?
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