This might wind up being one of the biggest blunders of the Stan Bowman era in Chicago, but a good number of fans are likely to forget it because Danault didn’t spend much time playing for the Blackhawks.
Danault was seen as the heir apparent to Marcus Kruger when the latter went down with a wrist injury during the 2015-16 season. And he showed some solid promise as a penalty killer and forward in general, taking over Kruger’s role and posting five points in 30 games.
Then, Bowman dealt Danault and a 2018 second-round draft pick to Montreal for forwards Dale Weise and Phillip Fleischmann. It’s wound up being a disaster of a trade, as neither Weise nor Fleischmann performed adequately in the 2016 postseason. Neither is with the Blackhawks today, either.
Danault, meanwhile, broke out for 40 points in an 82-game 2016-17 campaign while winning 51.7 percent of his faceoffs, posting a 55.6 percent Corsi-for starting just 48.1 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone. You’re telling me the Blackhawks couldn’t use this guy in 2017-18?
Da Windy City
Danault has proven himself to be far more than a Kruger replacement. He could not only stabilize Chicago’s bottom six, but even make it thrive. He could even be a candidate for second-line work alongside Patrick Kane.
It may seem a crime to have Danault this low on the list, considering how I’m playing it up. But look further into my words than my ranking for him. The Blackhawks would kill to have him back in the Windy City.
When Teuvo was sent to Carolina to get Bryan Bickell‘s contract off the Chicago books, there was probably an audible sigh let out from the Windy City. Another uber-talented player gone before he could get the chance to really develop with the Blackhawks.
While Teuvo didn’t have quite the stat jump Danault did in his first season away from the Blackhawks, I put the former a spot higher on this list because of the wild potential that came with him. Teuvo was dragged around a bit by coach Joel Quenneville, then immediately contributed to a 2015 Stanley Cup run when he was finally given some rope. That’s the kind of thing the Blackhawks could use full-time in 2017-18.
Teuvo posted 42 points in 81 games with the Hurricanes last season, though he had heavily tilted starts (58.4 percent in the offensive zone) that surely helped with his 54.9 Corsi-for rate. That said, why wouldn’t you want a speedy, east-west type forward like Teuvo on a Blackhawks roster that really, really needs an injection of speed and creativity?
Sure, Teuvo’s price tag would’ve continued to go up in Chicago unless he had totally busted out. But there was nothing to suggest that was going to happen. At worst, it seems like the Blackhawks could already have had an answer to their second-line left wing hole if Teuvo were still around.