With the trade deadline rapidly approaching and the Chicago Blackhawks falling in the standings, it is time to start thinking of selling players who do not fit long term
The first Chicago Blackhawks player who comes to mind is Michal Kempny. Kempny is on a one-year contract and can play at the NHL level. For reasons unknown to me, it has not worked out with the Blackhawks.
He has only appeared in 28 games this season and played 15:02 per game. Kempny is appealing because of his short-term contract and low cost. A contending team probably could get him for a middle-round draft pick. It makes him the perfect candidate to be traded.
Another name that might be appealing to teams is Tomas Jurco. Jurco has been better since being recalled by the Blackhawks. He might fit into a bottom-six role on a contending team. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman might even be able to recoup a third-round pick for him.
Veterans on the move?
I have debated on Twitter with others the value of Bouma and Wingels. While trading both Bouma and Wingels will not net much in terms of return, but the moves would free up playing time. With Bouma and Wingels out of the picture, there would be playing time for John Hayden and Dylan Sikura at the NHL level.
Developing players for next season should be the goal of the ‘Hawks for the rest of this season.
Franson is an interesting case because everyone had a chance to claim him earlier in the season and nobody wanted him. A team short on defense might be willing to take a flier on Franson, as it shouldn’t cost much.
Down in the AHL
The Blackhawks should trade defenseman Ville Pokka. He is not in the Blackhawks’ future plans. He was recalled once this season, and the coaching staff made it clear he was not going to play.
Pokka is never going to play with ‘Hawks at the NHL level. He needs a change of scenery to see if someone will give him a chance to play in the NHL. He would be the last piece of the Nick Leddy deal to move out of the organization.