Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: Marko Dano Was Never A Fit

By Sean Fitzgerald
Nov 18, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks forward Marko Dano (56) skates against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 18, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks forward Marko Dano (56) skates against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Blackhawks acquired Winnipeg Jets Andrew Ladd, Jay Harrison and Matt Fraser for Marko Dano, a conditional 2018 third-round pick and a 2016 first-round pick Thursday evening. While Ladd is obviously the focal point of this deal, this is the second time Dano has been traded in the last year. The Blackhawks acquired Dano in another blockbuster deal, one that sent Brandon Saad, Alex Broadhurst and Michael Paliotta to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and Artem Anisimov in the most-recent offseason.

That trade was viewed as one which gave the Blackhawks their long-awaited second-line center in Anisimov and the young prospect Dano. Every analyst said Dano would be the real prize in the trade. Dano’s scouting report  stated that he is an versatile scoring forward with upside.

He was the 27th overall pick by Columbus in the 2013 draft. During his brief time with the Blue Jackets, he had eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points in 35 games. When Dano was sent to the Blackhawks, it was the general consensus that he would replace Saad on the top line. He, however, did not make the Blackhawks’ opening night roster out of training camp. He was instead sent to the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

Speculation then began that Dano would follow the same path that Teuvo Teravainen did. Teravainen spent 39 games with IceHogs last season before being recalled to Chicago. Teravainen had six goals and 19 assists at Rockford before recalled. Many believed that Teravainen has refined his defensive game at Rockford, which has helped him stay at the NHL level this season.

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Similar to Teravainen, Dano recorded four goals and 19 assists in 34 games at Rockford this season. He would be recalled for 13 games as well, but couldn’t find his footing in the NHL with Chicago. He recorded one goal and one assist in 13 games.

Similar to former highly touted Blackhawks prospects like Brandon Pirri and Morin, Dano did not play defense well enough for Joel Quenneville and his coaching staff’s liking. Another huge knock on Dano is his undisciplined play. He spent way too much time in the penalty box. For his NHL career, he has 16 penalty minutes in 48 games. In 34 games with the IceHogs this season, he had 40 penalty minutes. That is not going to get a player to the NHL, especially with the Blackhawks. With the Blackhawks, Dano had portrayed himself as an offensive forward who could not stay out of the penalty box.

Dano became expendable when he was passed up by another forward prospect, Vincent Hinostroza. Hinostroza was recalled and sent down last week. Hinostroza leads the Icehogs in points with 30.

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At first blush, this deal might seem like the Blackhawks overpaid for Ladd, but Dano was never going to play consistent minutes in Chicago. If anyone was to criticize the Ladd deal, don’t mourn the loss of Dano but mourn instead the loss of the Blackhawks’ first-round pick. The Blackhawks now do not have a pick in 2016 till the third round.

The Blackhawks faithful can now put away the #freedano hastags because he has been freed. Dano will hopefully be a better fit with the Jets than he was in Chicago.