Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs Trade Chances

By Colin Likas
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Feb 15, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Martin Marincin (52) and Chicago Blackhawks left wing Phillip Danault (24) go for the puck during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

Blackhawks forwards

Phillip Danault: 3 percent

Danault’s future with the Blackhawks ties into another forward’s future with the team. I think Danault is a third- or fourth-line center the Blackhawks would like to keep around for awhile. He’s one of the only youngsters who hasn’t been sent down after a short stint with the club this season. Danault is a restricted free agent next season, but coming off an $863,000 contract. Thus, he won’t cost much to keep around on a two- or three-year deal. That would be unlike someone else we’ll talk about a little later. But I think Joel Quenneville and the Blackhawks are ultimately really happy with what they get from Danault as a checking-line center with some offensive capability, so I don’t see him moving.

Andrew Desjardins: 10 percent

Desjardins could be a guy who gets thrown into a deal as an “NHL-ready player,” but I don’t really see that happening with him. The Blackhawks were thrilled with what he provided on the defensive end in the 2015 postseason, and they could really use that again this postseason. Unless there’s a deal that’s too sweet to pass up and it involves Desjardins going the other way, I think he stays.

Vincent Hinostroza: 12 percent

The Blackhawks have a number of centers currently in the system, but most of them aren’t NHL-ready. Hinostroza is essentially at that point, so he could be a valuable trade piece. However, I think other teams could look for bigger fish when they’re trying to forge a deal with the Blackhawks. Not that Hinostroza is a bad player — he’s achieved 27 points in 41 games for the IceHogs in his first full-time professional season — but I think there are other names who could be floated around more heavily. I also think the Blackhawks would like to see Hinostroza contend for one of the bottom-six center positions alongside Danault and Dennis Rasmussen next season.

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Marcus Kruger: 75 percent

Yeah, I’m sorry. I really am. I like Kruger a lot; the guy has put his body on the line for the Blackhawks time and time again, and he always seems to come up big on the offensive end at the most surprising moments (Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against Anaheim, for example). But when I was talking about Danault, Hinostroza and Rasmussen taking the bottom-six center spots next season, this is the odd man out. Kruger was notably squeezed on to the 2015-16 team through a last-minute, hometown-discount deal, done with the hope (from Kruger) that a bigger, healthier deal would follow. Then Kruger broke his wrist early in this season, and he won’t return until right before the start of the playoffs.

While the Blackhawks could use the faceoff prowess Kruger provides on an on-and-off basis, they may need other assets more. And dangling Kruger’s name about could bring those assets. Kruger is a proven winner who can grind it out with the best of them, a guy some fringe playoff teams would love to add, and a guy some non-playoff teams would love to build a bottom six around. And there’s also the issue of a pay raise the Blackhawks truly can’t afford at this point, without some heavy maneuvering. The current injury is obviously an issue, but I think Kruger still could go within the next few weeks.

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Brandon Mashinter: 5 percent

He’d be a throw-in at the end of a deal, like Jeremy Morin before him. Although I’d rather have Morin than Mashinter.

Richard Panik: 3 percent

The Blackhawks acquired Panik for Morin, and they seem to like what they’re getting from him. The guy is versatile and can play on multiple lines and in multiple situations. It’d be nice to keep him on the bottom six for the postseason, and I don’t see the Blackhawks moving him before then.

Dennis Rasmussen: 12 percent

Same idea as Hinostroza, though the Blackhawks seem to be more sold on Rasmussen than Hinostroza at this point, as shown by Moose actually garnering extended time with the big-league club. Still, if the right deal comes along, Rasmussen could be in play. I just don’t see it as likely.

Jiri Sekac: 50 percent

The Blackhawks may have acquired Sekac just to use him as a trade piece. That wouldn’t totally surprise me, although benching the guy in favor of Mashinter isn’t the best way to up his trade value. Perhaps they had a willing recipient in mind right when Sekac got to town, though. It would be unfortunate if the Blackhawks acquired Sekac and never used him, considering he’s a big body who drives to the net and can actually play hockey, unlike Mashinter. So I can see them making good use of him by having him be part of a big trade.

Andrew Shaw: 50 percent

This is another one that will make readers want to hunt me down, I know. Shaw has a huge amount of support in Chicago because of his gritty ways and willingness to take a punch but give one right back despite being a small guy. But there’s something we all have to realize: Stan Bowman can find another Shaw pretty easily. In fact, they might already have a couple in the system in Ryan Hartman and Mike Liambas. Plus, Shaw needs to be re-signed in the offseason, and the Blackhawks have more pressing needs at this point. Shaw will be due a raise the Blackhawks can’t afford, so Bowman will want to get something for him. The big question is whether that’ll be at the trade deadline or when the season ends. Hence, the 50/50 chances.

Teuvo Teravainen: 5 percent

I think the Blackhawks see what they have in Teuvo, even if Q can’t always seem to use him appropriately. If he’s actually part of a deadline deal, it had better be a really damn good one, because Teuvo has a lot more than he’s been allowed and able to show this season on offense. And he’s only 21 years old. Moving him would be a disservice to the Blackhawks.

Next: Blackhawks Defensemen/Goaltenders