Could the Chicago Blackhawks be sellers at the trade deadline?

By Colton Thomas
Robin Lehner #40, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)
Robin Lehner #40, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks are sitting at 21-20-6 with 47 games played and could potentially be running out of time in hopes of making the playoffs. Teams would pay a lot for two goalies like Lehner and Crawford, so why not trade them and see what you get in return?

Let’s be honest, the Chicago Blackhawks have a very slim chance if at all to make the playoffs this year. Sitting at 21-20-6 (48 points) sixth place in the central division, and 11th place in the western conference. It’ll be very tough to make the playoffs with teams like the St.Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, and among other top tier teams in the same division as the Blackhawks.

So why not trade both Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford at the trade deadline to see what you’d get in return, and let Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen play out the rest of the season in hopes of getting a top pick in the NHL draft? If you look at how Lankinen has played in Rockford this year you’d think he’d already been in the NHL. He was named the Rockford IceHogs’ lone 2020 AHL All-Star representative.

It’d be ideal if the Blackhawks weren’t going to make the playoffs this year that they’d sell off all of the expiring contracts at the deadline like I said teams would pay a major price for two premium goalies like Lehner and Crawford so it’d be worth it in my opinion.

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Blackhawks’ fans know that Crawford has been one of the most elite goalies ever since he entered the league. He’d bring a lot of experience to a team as he has two Stanley Cups under his belt. The resume that Crawford has would help out just about any team in the league that’s looking to help themselves achieve what every team wants to achieve and that’s winning the Stanley Cup because that’s every team’s goal in the end.

Crawford is having quite a decent season, to say the least. Jeremy Colliton was rotating Lehner and Crawford every other day it seemed and then finally settled on a number one goalie. He’s played in 23 games so far, with a 7-13-2 record, 3.09 GAA, and a .906 save percentage. Those are both way off his career average but the Hawks’ team that’s playing in front of him is nowhere near the same that it used to be. I guarantee that if he went to a different team that plays a solid structure in front of him, then those numbers would be on the rise.

Crawford does have a no-move clause so the Hawks would need his permission to trade him away to a different team. He’s 35 years old and Stan Bowman needs to figure out what the plan is for the future of Crawford and this team. He could very well come back next year, but all I see him as is a backup if he did stay in Chicago, nothing more, nothing less.

When Bowman signed Lehner in the offseason to a 1-year contract he knew it’d be a risk because he could potentially leave after one season. The reason, why they went out and signed Lehner, was because of Crawford’s recent injury history and they had no idea he’d be healthy all season long . Bowman had no idea they’d land Lehner on a 1-year contract after he was coming off a brilliant 2018 season which he was nominated for the Vezina Trophy.

I can sit here and tell you that the Blackhawks’ have 21 wins because of how Lehner has played between the pipes. He’s played in 27 games, 14-7-4 record, with a 2.85 GAA, and a .923 save percentage. Depending on how he finishes the season, Lehner will be landing himself a very nice long-term contract in the offseason, which scares me as a Blackhawks fan.

Lehner is only 28 years old and could be looking for a three-year contract or a four-year contract in the offseason. The Hawks can trade him right before the deadline, or they could lose him for basically nothing in the offseason, which we don’t want.

I know every Blackhawks fan wants them to resign Lehner long-term but it just depends on what he would want.  Look at it this way, he’d bring in more of a return then Crawford would, so it’d be worth it. If both goalies aren’t going to be in Chicago next season then you mine as well get something for them.

In reality, will Bowman offer a contract extension to Lehner? I don’t really think it’ll happen so that’s why I think they should try and trade him before or at the trade deadline.

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