Dec 20, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) wins a face off against Vancouver Canucks center Brad Richardson (15) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Ladies and gentlemen at this point in time you don’t need to reach for the panic button, but don’t go too far from it. The Blackhawks have been struggling as of late and are 10-9-3 in the not so New Year. There are quite a few problem areas for the Hawks. It’s the slumping defense, or the inability to maintain offensive consistency outside of the top two lines, and the question remains the same. How can this problem be solved? Do the Blackhawks make a deadline deal to improve? Or do they tough it out, cross their fingers and hope for the best. Only time will tell.
The Hawks are sitting in third place in the central division five points behind St. Louis and ten points behind Nashville. Nashville added Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli, who I thought Bowman might take a run at, and solidified their already strong lineup. With that being said making a move to solidify the blue line would be advantageous for the Hawks. With only a little wiggle room below the salary cap, a trade would likely involve some salary going the other way. I don’t see Bowman moving Bryan Bickell or Patrick Sharp at the deadline. One or both of them will likely be moved at the draft or over the summer due to the salary cap crunch. But who do the Hawks move out in order to bring someone new in?
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One guy who I’d like to see join the Hawks is Carolina defenseman Andrej Sekera. Sekera is a 28 year old Czech born defenseman who is in the final year of his contract (2.75 million) and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Since Sekera is the best available defensemen left on the trade market the price has never been higher. A first round draft pick and a prospect would probably be enough to pry Sekera from the Hurricanes. However, if I’m Stan Bowman I don’t think I’d give a first rounder and a prospect for Sekera alone. I would like to see faceoff specialist Jay Mcclement tossed into the trade, or ideally a guy like Jiri Tlusty. Normally a first round pick wouldn’t be too much to give up, but considering this draft is supposed to be one of the deepest drafts in recent memory, a first round pick might be a little much for a rental defenseman.
Other names being thrown around are winger Curtis Glencross and center Antoine Vermette. Calgary is still in the thick of it, so I don’t see them giving away Glencross for nothing. The situation in Arizona is a little different. The Coyotes are spiraling downward and are getting rid of everyone. That’s a bit of a hyperbole, but you catch my drift. I don’t see Vermette coming to the Hawks unless a guy like Andrew Shaw or Bryan Bickell went the other way. Tis’ the season for trade speculation.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to tune in to NBC to watch the Hawks take on the Bruins at 2:30. The trade deadline is just over a week away, so things should get interesting. Don’t forget to follow BlackhawkUp on twitter and like us on Facebook.