Chicago Blackhawks Trade Deadline Moves with Grades

Feb 23, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets left wing Andrew Ladd (16) takes to the ice prior to the game against the Dallas Stars at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets left wing Andrew Ladd (16) takes to the ice prior to the game against the Dallas Stars at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports /

It has been quite the past couple of days for the Chicago Blackhawks’ front office. The trade deadline is not official until Monday at 2 o’clock, but the ‘Hawks decided to go out and make moves a couple days in advance. They started on Thursday night, right before their eventual loss to the Nashville Predators, by bringing in Andrew Ladd. Then they acquired Christian Ehrhoff from Los Angeles in exchange for Rob Scuderi. That trade happened Friday afternoon, but the ‘Hawks were not at all done that day. Friday night, the ‘Hawks shipped out Phillip Danault to Montreal. Let’s get in and break down these trades shall we?

Andrew Ladd Trade: A+

Minutes before a nationally televised game on Thursday, I got an alert on my phone and jumped out of my seat in my dorm. The Blackhawks finally made some moves and acquired my boy Andrew Ladd, and minor leaguers Jay Harrison and Matt Fraser, in exchange for a 2016 first round pick, Marko Dano and a conditional 3rd round pick in 2018 (if the ‘Hawks win the Cup this season). I loved this trade, as it filled a top six forward need for the ‘Hawks. They also landed one of the most sought after players of the 2016 trade deadline. However, Ladd does become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and the ‘Hawks are likely to not resign him. My tweet below shows the top two lines for the ‘Hawks, and those two lines can compete with anyone in the league. Thursday night, I went to bed as a happy man.

Also in honor of my boy coming back to Chicago, I present to you Andrew Lad fighting Ryan Kesler. But in the fight, Kesler pulls the most Kelser move ever and goes for the tackle.

Rob Scuderi Trade: A

I woke up Friday morning and went to class at Marquette still as a happy man as well. We just acquired a forward that would solidify our top two lines, and add depth since we could put Andrew Shaw down to the third line. In the late afternoon, I was in an even better mood. In case you have not read any of my other blogs, I am a big Rob Scuderi hater. I do not think he fits in with the ‘Hawks, and I think the trade to get him was a bad move. You could imagine my jubilation when I learned that the ‘Hawks traded Rob Scuderi to Los Angeles for Christian Ehrhoff. The trade was straight up, and the ‘Hawks would retain 50 percent of Scuderi’s contract, and the Kings would retain 15 percent of Ehrhoff’s contract hit. All together, Ehrhoff would cost the ‘Hawks $1.275 million.

This is another trade that I was so happy about. Ehrhoff adds depth to a defensive core that is in desperate need of that. In 40 games with the Kings, Ehrhoff has tallied two goals and eight assists. He is about average in the number of hits he delivers, and very above average in his possession metrics. He posts a 55.1 percent corsi this season with the Kings. In the rest of his career, he is usually above 50 percent in possession. While on the other hand, that is something that Rob Scuderi can absolutely not say, as he is historically bad with possession. Overall, the ‘Hawks took a cap hit with Ehrhoff, but I was a fan of this trade. Friday afternoon, I was very happy about things. Then Friday night happened.

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Phillip Danault Trade: D+

At about nine on Friday night, I got an alert on my phone that the ‘Hawks made another move. Solidifying more defense, I thought? No. On Friday night, the ‘Hawks traded away Phillip Danault and a second round pick in 2018, for veteran wingers Dale Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann. The second I saw the details of this trade I was against it.

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While I am all about the “all in” mentality of the front office, I think this trade was one too much. Phillip Danault is a really good and young forward, who looked like he had a bright future in Chicago. Trading him away, along with all the other draft picks, reduces the window for the ‘Hawks to win Cups. With an aging defensive core, they should not be trading away bright young offensive players. The ‘Hawks need to have an extremely strong offensive core, if their defense does not look very strong in the future. While I do completely trust Stan Bowman in everything he has done with this Blackhawks franchise, I think he made one trade too many. This trade also puts a lot of pressure on young forwards like Teuvo Teravainen and Artemi Panarin to produce, and to be the future of this team.

The ‘Hawks are going all in for this season. It is Stanley Cup or bust for this team, and I am all on board with my favorite team. Like Stan Bowman said in an interview on Saturday, “I think we’re in a much better position today than we were two or three days ago.” However, as much as I can get enthralled in this present season, it is hard not to look forward to the next five years. What will trading away all these prospects and draft pick do to the future of this team? We will learn in the coming seasons, but one thing is for certain. I, much like other Blackhawks fans, am willing to trade away people if that means winning a second consecutive cup, and a fourth cup in seven years. They will solidify their dynasty and make their place in history. The moves are gutsy, and I have to credit the front office for that. However, I still think they made one move too many. Until next time, Go ‘Hawks.

Overall Grade: B-