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Chicago Blackhawks: Duncan Keith Trade Replacements

By Sean Fitzgerald

After the first few games this season, the Chicago Blackhawks realized they might be a little short on defense. The front office decided to bring back injured Michal Rozsival and Kyle Cumiskey to bolster the defense. But the blue line became even thinner when Duncan Keith had successful surgery to repair a torn meniscus Tuesday. He will be out 4 to 6 weeks. Before the Keith news, the team had announced it would step up its efforts to trade for a defenseman. Since we have already covered the potential free agents the Blackhawks could sign, here are three potential trade targets the Blackhawks might be looking at to shore up the blue line while Keith is out.

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1. Ron Hainsey, Carolina Hurricanes: Hainsey seems like a good fit for the Blackhawks. He is a defenseman with excellent mobility, can be effective on both sides of the ice and is able to log heavy minutes. He is a veteran with some offensive ability. With the Blackhawks being very young on the blue line, adding a veteran defenseman makes sense. Hainsey does have his flaws. The main knock on Hainsey is that he is wildly inconsistent. He might be a good stop-gap until Keith gets back. Hainsey’s cap hit is $2,833,333 per year for the next three years, according to General Fanager.

2. Matt Hunwick, Toronto Maple Leafs: The Leafs are not looking to compete but to trade for younger assets or draft picks. Hunwick is a player Toronto should be looking to trade. Hunwick is a puck-moving defenseman who shows some two-way skill. He has been in the league eight years, appearing in 352 games recording 18 goals and 60 assists. The knock on Hunwick is that he is not a great defensive defenseman and can suffer if he is forechecked heavily. His cap hit is $1,200,00 for the next two years.

3. Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets: It would be great to see Big Buff back with the Blackhawks. Byfuglien has size, offensive talent and a mean streak. He can log heavy minutes, has a heavy shot and can screen the goalie in multiple situations. Now Byfuglien is not the fastest player which hurts him on defense. He also has some consistency issues with his play. The Blackhawks know what Byfuglien is capable of as a player. During his time with the Blackhawks, he amassed 55 goals and 54 assists in 260 games. For his career, he has 135 goals and 213 assists. The issue with Byfuglien is his cap hit. The Blackhawks would have to move Bryan Bickell or someone else in order to accommodate Byfuglien’s salary on the roster. Byfuglien is due $5,200,000 this season and is a free agent after this year.

Next: Best And Worst Case Scenarios Without Keith

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