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Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks Are A Brand New Team After Week Of Moves

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May 23, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) and Anaheim Ducks left wing Matt Beleskey (39) battle for the puck during the first period in game four of the Western Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) and Anaheim Ducks left wing Matt Beleskey (39) battle for the puck during the first period in game four of the Western Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 13, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Connor Murphy (5) skates during the third period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Arizona Coyotes won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 13, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Connor Murphy (5) skates during the third period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Arizona Coyotes won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

What have the Chicago Blackhawks gained with all these deals?

Oh wait.  In the above scenario, I forgot about Brandon Saad.

Yes, Saad was with the team in 2015.  It’s just that he’s been in Columbus for the last two years.   Even though I don’t like the ’Hawks’ track record of going back to the well, I have to say I really like this move of getting Saad back.

A proven power forward is going to be reunited with Toews!  Saad’s a physical presence who has seen success in this system in the past, both in the regular season and the playoffs.  No one has been able to replace Saad on the left side of Toews.  And we all know they’ve tried.  Who better to come in and replace Saad than Saad himself?!

Along with Saad came the acquisition of goaltender Anton Forsberg.  Since the Chicago Blackhawks don’t appear to have a viable NHL-ready goalie in their system, this was a much-needed trade.  It’s safe to say that Forsberg is slated for that backup role.  Best of luck to you, buddy; you’ve got some big shoes to fill.

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The ’Hawks now have a new defenseman on their hands.  His name is Connor Murphy, and he comes from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Ugh!  More on this later; we’re talking about the gains now.  Murphy is younger (24 instead of 30), a right-handed shot (much needed in the ’Hawks’ system), and less expensive ($3.85 million vs. $4.1 million).

But can he come right in and be the shutdown defenseman Hjalmarsson is?  Probably not.  I guess we have to think long-term here.  Do the ’Hawks have that kind of time?  There’s a window, remember people?

In this trade, the ’Hawks also gained prospect Laurent Dauphin.  He’ll most likely report to the Rockford IceHogs, so again we must look toward the future to see the gain.  He’s a center, and the ’Hawks could always use help down the middle.

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