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Chicago Blackhawks: Trade Deadline moves as buyers and sellers

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(Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks, Robin Lehner
(Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

There are only two circumstances that warrant the Blackhawks being sellers at the deadline.

One: The Blackhawks’ chances of postseason hockey are very slim.

Two: The Blackhawks get a favorable return.

The names that seem to be drawing the most interest as of now are Crawford, Lehner, Brandon Saad, and Erik Gustafsson. While there are numerous teams the Blackhawks could do a deal with, there seem to be a few that have needs the Blackhawks can fill and the returns the Blackhawks are looking for. Let’s take a look.

Carolina Hurricanes trade:

Blackhawks:

Trade – Lehner                 Receive – Dominik Bokk

OR

Trade – Crawford            Receive – 2020 third-round pick and conditional 2021 third-round pick

The Hurricanes have struggled in net all season. They had a problem last season during their playoff run too. The Hurricanes have a nice core of young talent, both upfront and on the back-end as well.

Depending on what they will give up, the Hurricanes could pursue either Blackhawks’ netminder. While both goalies have been great for the Blackhawks, Lehner is probably the more favored goalie from both sides here given his play, age, and health. However, Crawford would come at a much cheaper price.

The only caveat with Crawford is that he has a 10 team no-trade list. I could see the Hurricanes shipping over one of their younger prospects in Bokk who came over in the St. Louis trade. Bokk is still trying to find his game overseas in the SHL, but has the frame and shot to become a solid addition to the Blackhawks roster.

Given the positive play of Julien Gauthier, Martin Necas, Eetu Luostarinen, the Hurricanes could be willing to ship one of their young forwards. While Bokk would need some more time either overseas or in Rockford, as he continues to develop he will slot in perfectly in the top-six and would be a great addition alongside Toews.

The Blackhawks are currently without a 2021 third-round draft pick as that belongs to Montreal. The conditional third-round pick in 2021 would become a fourth-round pick if the Hurricanes fail to get past the first round.

Edmonton Oilers trade:

Blackhawks:

Trade – Saad               Receive – Jesse Puljujärvi

The Oilers could probably use any of the Blackhawks’ players listed above. For now, I am going to assume they are looking for someone who can add to their roster. A player who can add success who isn’t named Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl. That is why I can see the Oilers pursuing Saad.

Saad would not only round out the Oilers’ top-six, but he would play nicely on a line with McDavid or Draisaitl. He would bolster an already solid penalty kill in Edmonton. In return, the Blackhawks could get Puljujärvi.

I’m not sure how many of you feel about Puljujärvi. I think he has got great skill and size. He is just another draft pick who struggled in the Edmonton prospect bubble, as many have. Imagine Puljujärvi playing on a line with Kirby Dach.

As far as his NHL readiness, I think Puljujärvi could come over and make an impact. He would probably need some time to adjust to the North American game and NHL pace though.

I know the last “change of scenery” trade the Blackhawks made (Alexander Nylander) hasn’t quite worked out as planned; at least not yet, but Puljujärvi has never really been given a chance to thrive at the NHL level yet.

Edmonton, Las Vegas Golden KnightsNew York Islanders, or any team looking for a second power-play quarterback and offensive defenseman.

Blackhawks:

Trade – Gustafsson             Receive – 3rd Round pick

I am not high on Gustafsson and I never have been. Sure, he’s good offensively and leads Blackhawk defensemen in points, but as we saw in the Minnesota Wild game, he is a defensive liability in his zone.

Next year, Adam Boqvist will be ready to take that spot from him. Guys like Nicolas Beaudin and Ian Mitchell will hopefully be ready to play NHL minutes. Since he will be a UFA after the season, why not get an asset for him and not have to worry about over-paying him in the summer?

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