Chicago Blackhawks’ Best, Worst Mid-Season Trades Under Bowman

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 17: Johnny Oduya
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 17: Johnny Oduya /
4 of 5
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 09: Nick Leddy
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 09: Nick Leddy /

Best: The throw-in becomes the best part

In 2010, Bowman dealt defenseman Cam Barker to Minnesota for defenseman Kim Johnsson. Oh, and some young defensive prospect named Nick Leddy.

Sometimes, you say a trade is good because it helped a team win a Stanley Cup. That’s what the first two trades on this list were about (though Oduya was plenty helpful even when the team wasn’t winning). While Leddy was part of a Cup winner himself, this trade was a win for Bowman just because it was so lopsided.

Barker had a 40-point season in Chicago during the 2008-09 campaign, adding nine more points in the postseason. So Bowman sold high on Barker ahead of the 2010 playoffs, trying to boost the defense by adding veteran Johnsson and prospect Leddy.

Live Feed

Da Windy City

  • Chicago Blackhawks: Calgary was a tough way to end the trip Da Windy City
  • Chicago Blackhawks: 1 player to keep an eye on in Calgary Da Windy City
  • Chicago Blackhawks: Marc-Andre Fleury saves the day in win Da Windy City
  • Gameday preview: Canucks vs Blackhawks (November 21) The Canuck Way
  • Canucks: Betting odds and prediction vs. Blackhawks (November 21) The Canuck Way
  • Johnsson would score three points in eight regular-season games before suffering a concussion and never playing pro hockey again. And while Barker tallied all of 12 points in two seasons with Minnesota before winding through the NHL, AHL and KHL ranks, Johnsson’s injury would’ve been enough to make this trade a loss — had it not been for the inclusion of Leddy.

    He played about half of the 2010-11 season, getting his feet wet amid a team that had gone through a salary cap purge. Leddy tallied just four points, but came back with 37 in his first full season the next year. He played every game in the next two seasons as well, contributing 49 points. He added eight playoff points across the four seasons as well.

    Leddy was still a work in progress on the defensive end, but he was a true quarterback of a defenseman when the Blackhawks only had one in Duncan Keith. With Leddy in his early 20s, there was time to work him into a solid two-way blueliner.

    Bowman made out like a thief in this trade, but there was more fruit to be borne. Instead …

    Worst: Goodbye, Nick Leddy

    This trade could have qualified for the summertime trades post, considering it happened a day before the 2014-15 regular-season began. But since it fit so well with the aforementioned win involving Leddy, I decided to send it to this list.

    The Blackhawks were trying to stay cap compliant and had Leddy on the ropes heading into 2014-15. He needed a new contract to stick with the team and was coming off a two-year deal with an annual cap hit of $2.7 million. So Bowman decided to move Leddy instead of letting him walk for free or paying him.

    Bowman traded Leddy to the New York Islanders for the package of Ville Pokka, T.J. Brennan and Anders Nilsson. The latter two of that package aren’t with the Blackhawks organization anymore, while Pokka is stuck in perpetual AHL service.

    Leddy, meanwhile, has become a bona fide top-two blueliner for the Islanders. While his current  seven-year deal worth a cap hit of $5.5 million per season is something the Blackhawks would have struggled to afford, it’s clear the Blackhawks could use someone like Leddy now. And it’s also clear they got next to nothing of value in return for him — unless Pokka gets an NHL opportunity in 2017-18 and decides to break out.