Analysis

NHL Trade Deadline: Chicago Blackhawks Among Central Division Winners

By Colin Likas
Dec 20, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Johnny Oduya (47) defends against St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron (57) during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 20, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Johnny Oduya (47) defends against St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron (57) during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Blackhawks: B+

Trades made: Acquired F Tomas Jurco from Detroit for 2017 third-round draft pick | Acquired D Johnny Oduya from Dallas for F Mark McNeill, 2018 conditional fourth-round draft pick

Explaining the grade: The Blackhawks had three areas they were conceivably looking to improve upon this trade deadline: bottom-six depth, defensive depth and top-line left wing. They hit on two of those and didn’t feel the need to trade toward the third.

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Jurco may not be a regular on the bottom six come playoff time, but he has some potential and a change of scenery could do him well (two games is not a fair sample size to judge upon). A third-round draft pick is a meh give-up for Jurco.

Oduya is a proven winner who knows Chicago’s system and can, theoretically, team up with former defensive partner Niklas Hjalmarsson to shut down opposing teams’ top lines.

The Blackhawks also didn’t give up much for him, jettisoning AHL-locked McNeill and a pick that can become a third-rounder at best.

Things have been going really well on the top line of late for Chicago, and the price to add a bona fide top-line left wing was probably too steep for GM Stan Bowman. Therefore, he did a nice job working to fill two other areas of need without giving up much.

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