Danault Gets A Homecoming
- Phillip Danault
- 2018 second-round Pick
The final major trade for Bowman and the Blackhawks this year came as a bit of a surprise when Chicago sent Quebec native Danault and a future second-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for Weise and Fleischmann. The trade, which allowed Danault to play in what is essentially his hometown (Victoriaville is less than two hours away from Montreal), also made way for a returning Marcus Kruger to be a lock as the Blackhawks’ third-/fourth-line center of the future when Chicago signed him to a three-year extension. It’s a bottom-six position that, in Kruger’s absence, Danault had stepped into nicely while showing he was capable of being a productive NHL player in that kind of role.
In return, the Blackhawks added two bottom-six forwards in Fleischmann and Weise that should have paired nicely with Kruger and Teuvo Teravainen.
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Weise added a physical presence on the ice, while Fleischmann was a larger-bodied player who could produce points and be trusted in defensive situations for Chicago.
The problem? Players like Dennis Rasmussen and Brandon Mashinter were already playing those roles for the Blackhawks and made it hard on both Weise and Fleischmann to be everyday inclusions to the lineup. Weise ended up playing in 19 games for Chicago, including the playoffs, adding just two points, while Fleischmann played in 23 total games with the Blackhawks, scoring five points, all in the regular season.
Grade: With the Blackhawks trading Danault, they were essentially losing a younger, cheaper version of Kruger. While Kruger is in no way old or past his prime, Danault showed a lot of potential as a bottom-six center and looked like he already could do what Kruger could do, while being two years and $2 million cheaper. Again, with adding Weise and Fleischmann, this trade a lot of potential to do great things for the Blackhawks.
Unfortunately, the season was ended in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the full potential was never reached, and the two players never truly fit into the lineup like Bowman and the organization would have liked them to. For that, this trade gets a C+ grade.