Options for the powerplay and offense
Overall on offense, the Blackhawks have not been as bad as most seem to think. They are actually averaging more goals per game than last year.
The issue with the offense is that it is inconsistent, some games scoring four or more and others not able to get on the board. There are currently seven players with more than 20 points.
Leading the way, no surprise, is Patrick Kane with 48 points. Second on the team is Nick Schmaltz with 33, and third is Jonathan Toews with 31. Adding another player with scoring potential would help add some consistency.
One area the ‘Hawks have struggled with this season is the powerplay, sitting in 28th out of 31 teams. Having a pitiful 15.4 percent conversion rate on the powerplay, bringing in someone who can help turn that around would be a great asset.
If the Blackhawks can turn around their powerplay, it could help them win a few more games down the stretch and possibly get in to the playoffs. One big question is how to obtain a player like this, and which players are available.
One player who may be a fit is offensive defenseman Mike Green of the Detroit Red Wings. Green can quarterback a powerplay and has 13 points on the powerplay this year.
With 26 points on the season, half have come on the powerplay. Green is a great offensive presence from the back end and may help some of the powerplay woes. The downside of Green is he is already 32, and is not completely reliable in the defensive zone.
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Green’s cap hit is hefty at $6 million. He would be considered a rental, as he is a free agent after the season is over. Question is, what is Detroit looking to get for the aging defenseman? They are probably looking for more than the ‘Hawks should give up for him.
Mike Hoffman of the Senators is another option if the ‘Hawks want to make it to the playoffs.
Hoffman, a true goal scorer, has 30 points on the year so far, 12 of which have come on the powerplay.
He plays for a very defense-oriented team in Ottawa, so may fit in Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville’s system as well. While being able to score does come at a premium, his number are down from last year, so you may be able to get him at a slight discount.
The biggest issue with Hoffman is his contract, at $5.1 million a year and locked up until the 2020-21 season. Fitting him in would be difficult. Hoffman would make navigating the cap extremely difficult, unless the Blackhawks shed salary somewhere else.
There have been talks that Ottawa has spoken with Bowman earlier, and the Sens may be interested in Michal Kempny. Along with Kempny, you would likely have to send back at least another prospect or pick, making this unlikely.
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With Montreal’s woes this season, the Habs look to be sellers at the deadline. Alex Galchenyuk could be an interesting player for the ‘Hawks to look at.
Galchenyuk has had a slower year, but still has 26 points, 12 of which are on the powerplay. He would add to the youth on the team, being only 23 years old. He is under contract at $4.9 million a year until the end of the 2019-2020 season.
Galchenyuk has the ability to play all three forward positions, which could add to the organization’s overall depth. He has had issues with management in the past, though, and questions of his commitment have come up frequently.
Getting a fresh start may jump-start and help Galchenyuk’s mental state, but that is a risk. The question becomes, does the organization think the benefits outweigh the risk? Also, what would they have to give up to acquire the young forward?
Trying to stay young and getting top-tier talent is also the priority of Montreal amid its terrible season.