Jun 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville (right) and general manager Stan Bowman are interviewed during media day in preparation for game one of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
If you follow the Chicago Blackhawks or hockey you probably know by now that Patrick Kane was injured in their game on Tuesday and as a result required surgery on a fractured left clavicle. With the recent news of Patrick Kane’s injury requiring an estimated 12 weeks for a full recovery the Blackhawk’s will have to play with a Patrick Kane free lineup for the rest of the season and deep into the playoffs. If you look at the doctors timetable of 12 weeks, that would put him back around the Western Conference Finals/Stanley Cup Finals. This is if the Blackhawks can survive that long without Patrick Kane’s assets on the ice. The thought of adding depth before the trade deadline is something a teams management will frequently talk about but Stan Bowman usually puts his trust in his existing talent. So the question to be asked now is with the Patrick Kane injury and the trade deadline approaching March 2, do you trust Stan Bowman to take the correct route? Below are some options he has on the table on which route he could take.
The first option everybody thinks of or jumps to is the acquisition of talent via a trade. There are several skilled players and veterans that are still available and Stan Bowman could make a run at. However time is dwindling down and a move will need to be made sooner rather than later because there are other teams still thinking about adding the same depth to their team.
One of the top players that comes to mind is Antoine Vermette who is currently with the Arizona Coyotes. He has a decent two way game that includes winning faceoffs, scoring goals, and crashing the boards with checks on the defensive end. The downside is that with that diverse skill set comes a higher pricetag of what the Coyotes want in return. I see them wanting a certain player that’s not expendable or too much prospect talent we would not be willing to give up.
Another player that has been thrown out there in talks is legend Jaromir Jagr who currently plays for the New Jersey Devils. He has recently talked about his frustration with less ice time after the release of their former coach and the lack of ice time he will be getting down the stretch. He also expressed how the Devils would have to win about 20 of 22 games to possibly be in the playoffs and he would rather play with a team that has more potential to give him a shot. The cap hit for Jagr is $3.5 million and he has lost the speed he once glided with but he still has some skill left in the tank. I’m thinking his presence of leadership/hockey IQ and skill could help this team fill some of the void. Does Stan Bowman feel the same is the question?
The third most valuable player that is available on the trade market is probably Jiri Tlusty with the Carolina Hurricanes. He has 13 goals this season with a team that probably holds him back statistically. He has a scouting report of playmaking and finishing skills with sound defensive skills but can be inconsistent. His cap hit would only be $2.95 million while the Blackhawks now have $5 million to work with after Kane’s move to LTIR. Do we really want to deal with anymore inconsistent players at this time in the season would be my main concern. Although some of that could be traced back to the team he is on. If we can get him within reason it might be worth the shot.
The other option Stan Bowman may stick to is using the existing talent he has assembled in the minors waiting for their shot at the NHL. We all know Teuvo Teravainen is the guy they are currently calling upon after they made the roster move yesterday. Everyone hopes that he can breakout and do some special things with this NHL team so that he can make this level his permanent home. However the Chicago Blackhawks coaches, players, and fans all have to realize you cannot just go and replace Patrick Kane with one player, it will take a collection of players to increase their effort and scoring to make up the difference they lost.
Players like Bryan Bickell, Andrew Shaw, Marcus Kruger, and Ben Smith have to look in the mirror and say to themselves this is my job and I have to get better at it right now if we want to be successful. Inconsistent play will not get them a Stanley Cup or even a first round win. This injury can go one of two ways really. It’s either going to crush this team and they’ll hang on for dear life until the playoffs or they will battle together and make eachother stronger with a new fire under their skin. They need to hit the panic button now to get that boost into the playoffs because they will have to do it without Showtime. With the Patrick Kane injury and the trade deadline approaching do you trush that Stan Bowman will make the right choices? I sure hope he does!!!
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What are your thoughts on trading before the deadline? Who should the Blackhawks pickup? Who do you think we would trade away? Should we stick with what we have? Let me know what you think below in the comments section!
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