The Trevor Daley experiment may be over before the defenseman gets even half a season with the Chicago Blackhawks.
According to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, the Ottawa Senators have opened serious talks with the Blackhawks about acquiring Daley. The Blackhawks are reportedly asking for a second-round draft pick and one of a pair of young wingers — 22-year-old Matt Puempel or 23-year-old Shane Prince.
Senators General Manger Bryan Murray addressed the rumor Wednesday, saying his team is “always looking for an upgrade if that’s possible.” The Senators are owners of the third-worst possession percentage in the league, controlling just 47 percent of all scenarios. Meanwhile, Daley is carrying a 55.33 Corsi-for percentage, though that has been aided heavily by ample offensive-zone starts.
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Still, if the Senators think Daley is the answer to their possession woes, Blackhawks fans probably wouldn’t complain. Though he’s played in just 19 games with the Blackhawks, Daley just hasn’t gotten comfortable with the team and has been relegated to third-pairing minutes with Michal Rozsival. The career offensive year Daley was coming off in Dallas hasn’t translated to Chicago, as he boasts just three assists right now.
This trade could work in a few ways for the Blackhawks. First, it gets a $3.3 million cap hit for this season and next off the books (unless the Blackhawks are going to eat some of that contract). On top of that, it gives one of Erik Gustafsson, Viktor Svedberg or even Ville Pokka the chance display their wares at the big-league level. Gustafsson in particular looked good in his time with the Blackhawks earlier this season, and Pokka is considered by many to be the team’s top defensive prospect at this time.
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Additionally, the Blackhawks would add a draft pick — something General Manager Stan Bowman loves to do whenever possible — as well as a depth winger who is just getting started in the NHL. Puempel, a first-round pick by the Senators in 2011, has played 24 games in the league across two stints, while Prince has seen 13 games in the same timeframe. Puempel racked up 48 points with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators in 2013-14 and 32 more in 2014-15, while Prince notched 65 last season in the AHL.
Daley was the key piece in the Patrick Sharp trade during this offseason, but Ryan Garbutt, who also came over in the deal, has proven more useful than Daley. The defenseman just hasn’t fit well in the Blackhawks’ system, and a very competitive Central Division won’t allow the Blackhawks to take too much time waiting for someone to adjust. It’s unclear how close or far away these teams might be from an actual deal, but it seems to be one that would benefit the Blackhawks on paper.
What do you think about this potential trade involving Daley? Let us know in the comments section.