No. 5: Blackhawks Ding Their Future Through Trades
Of course, trades made at the deadline aren’t a one-way street. Something has to go back the other way. And the Blackhawks gave up an unfortunate amount in that respect.
The key piece of the Ladd deal, outside a 2016 first-round draft pick, was young forward Marko Dano. The Blackhawks gave him about 10 minutes to make an NHL impact, got upset when he didn’t and shipped him to the AHL. Then they traded him.
Dano, the secondary return piece in the Brandon Saad deal, hasn’t lit up the scoreboards in Winnipeg. But you can’t tell me nine points in 26 games this season wouldn’t be better than Jordin Tootoo and Andrew Desjardins combining for zero thus far.
The Blackhawks also shipped Phillip Danault to Montreal in the Fleischmann-Weise deal (in addition to a 2018 second-round draft pick). Danault was seen as the future Marcus Kruger in Chicago, and with Kruger still dealing with a wrist injury at the time of the trade, this was a surprising give-up.
Danault is having himself a fine year in Montreal, posting 14 points in 34 games, winning 52.5 percent of his faceoffs and posting a Corsi-for of 51.3 percent despite starting 62.3 percent of his shifts in the defensive zone. The Blackhawks are going to wish they didn’t give up Danault.