Is Connor Murphy the Trade Chip the Chicago Blackhawks Should be Shopping?

Chicago Blackhawks, Connor Murphy (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
Chicago Blackhawks, Connor Murphy (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks have an inconsistent 2019-2020 season so should they look to move one of their consistent defenseman, Connor Murphy, to help fill their coffers?

Recently Pierre LeBrun reported that the Los Angeles Kings were open to trading defenseman Alec Martinez and my initial thought was, the Chicago Blackhawks could really use an upgrade on defense with the losses of Brent Seabrook and Calvin de Haan coupled with Dennis Gilbert and Slater Koekkoek’s uneven play.

Then I took a step back and was like, why? Why do we want to continue to crowd the blue line with middling defenseman or do we want there to be space for players like Gilbert, Adam Boqvist and hopefully Ian Mitchell to get their experience at the NHL level.

Ultimately the later should be the answer for the Chicago Blackhawks with their uneven play and a laundry list of injuries they might want to look into being sellers themselves but do they have the assets to truly help the future of the organization?

While there are no players the Blackhawks have to be a seller that will be headliners on the market they do have a couple who could be of interest to contenders who are looking to be pushed over the top. Players like David Kampf, Drake Cagguila, and Olli Maatta could all fetch decent returns of some picks or mid-grade prospects but someone who I think should be shopped and still provides the team with some value is Connor Murphy.

Many teams like the Blackhawks are always looking for a solid piece to add to their blue line and this season Murphy has arguably been the Blackhawks best defenseman. So why move the Blackhawks best defenseman who is cost controlled until the end of the 2021-2022 season, well the desire around the league for defense could drive up the return on a player like Murphy who does have a solid cap hit, solid defensive play and can still chip in offensively.

Look at teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs who are going to be without their top defenseman Morgan Reilly for eight weeks and have been without Jake Muzzin for some time already. They could be a team looking to add some depth to a defensive core that has struggled even with the likes of Muzzin and Reilly in the lineup and also possess the trade chips that could interest a team like the Blackhawks who’s forward depth has been stretched thin.

While I am a huge Murphy fan if the Blackhawks can add more value and quality to their NHL roster or even just build upon their prospect pipeline I think everything should be explored even if it does weaken them in the short term. The even though it would be difficult to see the Blackhawks waste another season of Toews, Kane, and Keith as well as spectacular goaltending it is more important that they continue to build upon the future of the organization.