Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: Teuvo Teravainen’s Talent Wasted

By Mario Tirabassi
Oct 30, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Teuvo Teravainen (86) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Teuvo Teravainen (86) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Blackhawks Trading Bryan Bickell Costs Teuvo Teravainen

Earlier today, the Chicago Blackhawks made the trade we all were waiting for since the middle of the season: They got rid of Bryan Bickell‘s stinker of a contract, to the Carolina Hurricanes. In doing so, the Blackhawks get the Hurricanes’ 2016 second-round pick (50th overall) and their 2017 third-round pick. Not a bad haul. Oh, I forgot, they also included Teuvo Teravainen in the deal.

Yup, that’s right, trading Bickell cost the Blackhawks Teuvo Teravainen. Let that sink in. To move a player making $4 million a year and not cracking your NHL roster, you had to also trade a 21-year-old top-six forward who hadn’t scratched the surface of his potential.

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Also, that 2017 pick the Blackhawks get from Carolina, they previously traded to Carolina in the Kris Versteeg deal. Essentially, the Blackhawks trade Bickell and Teravainen for the 50th pick in this year’s draft.

Blackhawks Choose Shaw Over Teravainen

It’s easy to see now that a bridge or long-term deal is going to be worked this summer for Andrew Shaw. As the most notable restricted free agent for the Blackhawks this offseason, Shaw has played his way into the good graces of the fans and organization, where Teravainen may have needed a better chance to showcase his skills (i.e. not playing on a line with Dale Weise).

But Shaw is replaceable.

Some fans and people within the organization may disagree, but a player like Shaw (gritty, energy-guy, grinder, all the hockey terms) is a dime a dozen in the league. Put a player like Shaw in Carolina, and no one recognizes his game. But him in Chicago and he fetches, probably, $4 million a year.

I mentioned it before in a previous article, now basically useless, but Teravainen excelled when he was paired with other top-six forwards on the Blackhawks.  His time playing alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa was more effective than Shaw’s time playing with the top-pairing.

While Teravainen may not be able to play in nearly every situation for the Blackhawks that Shaw can (powerplay and shorthanded), his defensive game was improving this last season and could have continued into next season.

But this move was brought on another move that was a head-scratcher at the time. Remember when the Blackhawks traded Phillip Danault to Montreal and extended Marcus Kruger?

Kruger, a 26-year-old fourth-liner, will be making just over $3 million per year for the next three years. Not against Kruger being extended, but wouldn’t that $3 million figure be a little steep for a player who is your fourth-line and penalty-killing guy? Just a thought when a team like Chicago is continuously nail biting when it comes to the NHL salary cap.

Next: Blackhawks Trade Bryan Bickell, Teuvo Teravainen

So coming to terms with the fact that the deal is made, and yes, the Blackhawks do have more salary cap space to extend Artemi Panarin, is all a good thing. It will remain to be seen what Teravainen could be in the NHL, but it won’t be seen with the Blackhawks.

So what do you think of the trade? Let us know in the comment section!

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