The NHL Trade Deadline is Feb 26th, 2018. 48 Days away. With the Chicago Blackhawks current inconsistencies, a move needs to be made. When will it come? Below, I take a lengthy look at this hard to answer question.
During the morning hours of Monday, January 8th, 2018, Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman was very active. Waiving Cody Franson, sending John Hayden to Rockford (AHL), and recalling Tomas Jurco from Rockford (AHL). Fellow BlackhawkUp writer Colin Likas unpacked those roster transactions and what they mean both in the present and going forward.
While I have no insider information and this is just pure speculation, I believe that these roster moves may in fact be in preparation of one, or several, trades. Lets dive in.
Franson, Hayden, and Jurco
I’m going to start this off by stating a bias of mine. I LOVE John Hayden. He’s mean and most definitely isn’t afraid of throwing his body around. He’s got an offensive punch, and can play up and down the line up.
Personally, I feel like the Hayden move is just to get him more ice time. In Rockford, he’ll get top line minutes in all situations, and it would probably be good for his confidence for him to be a leader on a team again.
This brings us to Jurco.
While he has put up impressive numbers in Rockford lately, he has done this often in his professional hockey career. Be somewhat impressive in the minors, and show close to nothing in the NHL. This is just pure speculation, but I believe that this move may be to showcase Jurco at the NHL level, and that he may be included in an upcoming trade. I’ll get to that later.
For Franson, it’s been evident all season, as it was before they signed him, that he is extremely slow. That’s the exact opposite of what the Blackhawks need on the backend. While he didn’t look all that bad in his time here, he shouldn’t be taking away playing time from younger, less experienced guys, as long as they’re ready to play. He also comes with a $1,000,000 cap hit. If Franson is just going to sit on the bench, I’m sure Stan would much rather utilize that money in some other way.
But, could there be more in the works? We, of course, have to consider it.