Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks Roundtable: Trade Options And Upcoming Enemies

By Colin Likas
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Greg Bradshaw

Question 1: The idea of adding a another big center such as Martin Hanzal is a very intriguing option. Fifteen goals, 9 assists, very strong at the dot, seems like a no-brainer.

However, I believe this is the year that the Blackhawks must hold their picks and prospects. Chemistry is coming together for Chicago. The addition of players can be either good or bad as far as keeping chemistry goes, and so I believe the ‘Hawks will stand pat.

The Blackhawks have so many young and valuable pieces to make up part of the present and future of this hockey team. Although there is always the window to win for the “core” players, this team has really impressed me lately and shouldn’t require any tweaks unless the offer is rather small in return for some depth players.

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Question 2: March 12 will be the game to look out for next month if you’re a ‘Hawks fan. Minnesota continues to be on cruise control in its quest to lock up the Central, but Chicago has been playing strong as well. If Minnesota slips up and begins to lose ground, the March 12 matchup will be even bigger.

George Clifford

Question 1: The Blackhawks could use some depth scoring at forward, but not by mortgaging the team’s future. If Stan Bowman can find the right fit at a bargain price, then I say go for it.

I’ve mentioned Arizona forward Radim Vrbata in two previous roundtables and still like him as a trade target — he’s a cap-friendly, proven scorer with a knack for finding the puck in high-danger areas.

Question 2: Although the two remaining games with Minnesota will likely have more impact on the Central Division race, I’m most intrigued by the two matchups with the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins on March 1 (home) and March 29 (away).

The Blackhawks won both games last year, but both victories came before the Pens found their championship form en route to the Stanley Cup.

With the ‘Hawks rounding into form this season, the Pens will be an exciting and challenging way to get the true measure of this team on the brink of the playoffs.

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