The Chicago Blackhawks have a lot of cap space to work with, but nothing to give away in a trade.
I believe the smartest move Stan Bowman has made in the past five years was when he didn’t even flinch last season during the month leading up to the trade deadline. Rather than buy into a playoff spot that was not guaranteed, Bowman kept his draft picks and his prospects to himself. I would like to see Bowman do the same again this season.
The Chicago Blackhawks have been good. I am not trying to downplay their great play the last few months, rather I just don’t think it is in the team’s best interest to give up something big.
If the Blackhawks tried to make a trade to make this team better who are they going to give up? Chicago could trade away one of their goalies, but then we get the dilemma of which goalie. The Blackhawks could part ways with a young prospect like Ian Mitchell, but that would drastically hurt the future of this team, especially for a rental piece.
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If the Blackhawks did take on a player via trade it would have to be someone on an expiring contract. Giving up a young prospect or a draft pick for a player who is only going to be around for two months doesn’t bode well for the Blackhawks’ future.
I know standing pat at the trade deadline might not be the best thing in the world. Chicago could improve their team for the short-term right now, and sacrifice their long-term growth.
Imagine if the Blackhawks did bring in a player last season for their first-round draft pick. There is no guarantee the Blackhawks made the playoffs with a rental last season like Ryan Dzingel or Matt Duchene. So imagine if the Blackhawks missed the playoffs while buying at the deadline and then getting stuck watching Ottawa taking our 3rd overall pick.
I am not saying Bowman should turn off his phone. If a deal arises that improves this team in the short and long-term go for it. I would imagine some teams are going to be itching to get some salary-cap space right now. Maybe we can use that to our advantage.