Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman’s Trade Deadline Deals

By Sean Fitzgerald
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February 26, 2015: Chicago Blackhawks acquired F Spencer Abbott from Toronto for D T.J. Brennan

Assessment: This was a swap of minor leaguers. Abbott had a nice run with the Rockford IceHogs after the trade, posting 21 points in 19 regular-season games and six points in eight playoff contests. He has spent this season with Frolunda HC in Sweden. Brennan played in six games for the Leafs right after the trade, recording an assist. He has spent this entire season with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, racking up 48 points in 48 games.

Grade: N/A

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Jun 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Kimmo Timonen hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

February 27, 2015: Chicago Blackhawks acquire D Kimmo Timonen from Philadelphia for a 2015 second-round draft pick and 2016 conditional fourth-round pick (turned into a second-round pick if the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup)

Assessment: This was a great trade … for Timonen. The aging defenseman was coming off blood clots that had kept him off the ice for the entire season up to this point. But Johnny Oduya had been placed on injured reserve the same day, and Bowman felt he needed to make a move to bolster the defense. Timonen turned out to be the best option.

Timonen played in 16 regular-season games and 18 playoff contests, not recording a point and generally scaring Blackhawks fans each time he stepped on the ice due to his obvious lack of speed (similar to the effect Rob Scuderi currently has on fans). Timonen got to go out on top, which was nice, but the Blackhawks gave up potentially valuable picks for a guy who pretty much occupied space. The Flyers eventually moved the second-round pick in 2015, and the other pick is obviously to be determined.

Grade: C

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Jun 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Antoine Vermette (80) during the third period at game five of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena. Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

February 28, 2015: Chicago Blackhawks acquire F Antoine Vermette from Arizona Coyotes for D Klas Dahlbeck and 2015 first-round draft pick

Assessment: This was the big one that turned into the weird one. The Blackhawks needed some center and general forward depth/experience, and Bowman delivered, further emptying the Blackhawks’ trove of defensive prospects and draft picks in the process. Of course, Quenneville didn’t want to play Vermette all that much, which probably made Bowman want to throw things.

Vermette suited up for 19 regular-season games, tallying three assists but also scoring the winning goal in a shootout. When the playoffs rolled around, Vermette initially bounced between healthy scratch and bottom-six forward with little ice time, same as younger forward Teuvo Tervainen. Q then inserted them into a game on the same line, and magic ensued. Vermette tallied four goals, including three game-winners, and four assists in 20 games, while Teuvo had four goals, including a game-winner.

Vermette was a true rental, something Bowman hasn’t dealt in all that much as Blackhawks GM. Vermette cost too much to re-sign in the offseason, and he wound up back in Arizona. Dahlbeck would be a nice piece to have right now considering the Blackhawks’ lack of defensive depth, even if he has just five points in 40 games this season. The Coyotes used the draft pick on Nicholas Merkley, a right wing currently in the WHL.

The rental factor hurts this trade some, but without Vermette’s contributions in the 2015 postseason, who knows if the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup or not.

Grade: B+

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Dec 27, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Desjardins (11) with the puck in the second period of their game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /

March 2, 2015: Chicago Blackhawks acquire F Andrew Desjardins from San Jose Sharks for F Ben Smith

Assessment: This trade was initially not well received by either fan base. Smith was a fan favorite in Chicago as a true grinder, while Desjardins kind of held the same role in San Jose. Desjardins played in just 13 regular-season games after the trade, tallying two assists. He was initially scratched in the playoffs, but when he was inserted against Nashville later in the opening round, he immediately scored a goal. Sure it was his only one of the playoffs, but Desjardins had arrived. Kind of.

He sunk into an important checking line role alongside Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw. He tallied three more assists in the postseason and helped shut down important players against the Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning. He then re-signed with the Blackhawks before this season for peanuts and has contributed six goals and an assist in 51 games, doing some penalty killing and checking-line duty once again.

Smith has struggled with injuries in San Jose, playing in just 25 games since the trade and tallying five points, none of those coming this season.

Grade: B+

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