Rumors hit on Thursday that NHL contenders are interested in bringing in Chicago Blackhawks skaters Chris Kunitz and John Hayden. Given the opportunity, the Blackhawks should say yes.
Elliot Friedman, a Canadien sports journalist for Sportsnet, does a 31 thoughts series every week or so where he gives one thought on each NHL team. Take a look at what he wrote this week about the Chicago Blackhawks:
"“I think a few contenders (Calgary makes a lot of sense) are considering Chicago’s Chris Kunitz. It makes a lot of sense. Another Blackhawk being watched is John Hayden. He’s had nine straight games under 10 minutes, and Drake Caggiula’s arrival affects his role. He’s got an edge, and someone else might see some value.”"
Whether or not the Calgary Flames are actively interested in Chris Kunitz remains to be seen, however he would certainly bring some value to their team. Of every Western Conference team currently in the playoffs, the Flames have the third-youngest team by position. Additionally, they’ve made the playoffs just twice since 2009-10 and escaped the first round only once.
Kunitz, a four-time Stanley Cup champion, has the experience to provide leadership in an inexperienced locker room.
The return wouldn’t be tremendously high for a guy like Kunitz, however even a sixth-round draft pick is better than inevitably letting him walk away this summer. Getting something, anything, in exchange for him seems like something the Chicago Blackhawks simply cannot say no too.
He’s played just 29 games this season and if a team comes calling the ‘Hawks had better say yes.
Say goodbye to John Hayden?
John Hayden might not be on his way out quite yet, but it seems to be a very real possibility. Hayden was an expendable player to begin with but after the addition of Drake Caggiula he seems to have even less value for the Blackhawks.
That said, he could have value for other teams.
Like Friedman wrote, Hayden plays with a physical edge and is the type of guy who seems to have a chip on his shoulder. He can throw his body around and plays undeniably hard.
If the Blackhawks plan to stay with Caggiula moving forward they should have no problem saying yes to a deal involving John Hayden.
I love the way he plays, however Chicago needs to keep the future in mind.
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Both of these players have value, however neither of them bring much to the table for this struggling Blackhawks team. If the front office is met with the opportunity move either one of them, they should undoubtedly say yes.