Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks’ Blockbuster Trades That Probably Won’t Happen

By Tim Martens
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 18: Jonathan Toews
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 18: Jonathan Toews /
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WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – APRIL 20: Dustin Byfuglien
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – APRIL 20: Dustin Byfuglien /

Jonathan Toews for Dustin Byfuglien

We have officially gone into the unprecedented trade territory. If you aren’t already scrolling to the bottom of the article to leave a comment about why I am an idiot, then let me make the case for this one.

First off, Toews has a no-trade clause that he will have to waive in order for any trade to happen. If the ‘Hawks come to the decision  they actually want to move away from their three-time Stanley Cup-champion leader, they would need to find a trade partner that he would want to go to. What place would Toews possibly agree to move to more than maybe any in the league? His hometown of Winnipeg.

In this scenario, the Jets find a quick exit in the second round against Nashville this year and determine they are one offensive piece away from being true Stanley Cup contenders. While Toews’ $10.5 million AAV salary is a $2.9 million raise from Byfuglien’s $7.6 million AAV, the Jets can make it work with the cap increase this offseason. They may have to make another move or two in order to fit Toews and re-sign Connor Hellebuyck, but they can make it work.

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Toews also brings Winnipeg the experience and maturity of deep playoff runs from years past; that fake, non-calculable stat general managers like to point out for why a player who has won before has more worth than a guy who hasn’t. It is a selling point for both sides in this case.

Meanwhile, Bowman returns to the game of bringing old Blackhawks back to the fold and brings Byfuglien back to Chicago to try and help a pathetic blue line.

Byfuglien will be 33 next season and will have three years left on his contract, but he becomes a top-pairing defenseman for the ‘Hawks and gives some of the defensive prospects more time to develop into competitive NHL players. The deal also gives them almost $3 million in cap savings and more cap freedom in three years when Byfuglien’s deal comes to an end.

Why it won’t happen: So many reasons. First, even if the Jets were willing to become as cap-strapped as the ‘Hawks had been the last eight years, I’m not sure Toews’ numbers over the last few seasons will get the Jets to bite. While they wouldn’t need him to be a pure goal scorer, his game has declined in recent memory and they may not want to add that to their roster at the expense of losing a top defenseman.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks need help at the blue line and Byfuglien is at least a big name, but I doubt Bowman is willing to pull the trigger on trading away the face of the franchise.

Even with Toews’ big cap hit, on-ice struggles and five years left on his contract, I just can’t see Bowman taking the risk of losing one of the best players to ever wear the Blackhawks sweater. I also can’t see Rocky Wirtz or John McDonough signing off on the deal from an ownership, marketing and franchise stand point.

Next: Panarin Couldn't Have Saved Blackhawks

So those are just a few blockbuster trade ideas that could completely shake-up the design of the Blackhawks roster. What do you think? Do you have any ideas for a crazy trade that would fix some issues for the Blackhawks? Do you think Chicago will try to make another big trade this offseason? Leave a comment and let us know.

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