Today is the NHL trade deadline. The Chicago Blackhawks have three big names on the “trading block”, which trade makes the most sense?
The three big names that the Chicago Blackhawks might trade are Robin Lehner, Brandon Saad, and Erik Gustafsson. Lehner has lost four of his last five starts. Saad has been hot since returning from injury but still has underperformed. Gustafsson has been a healthy scratch during the last two games.
It’s easy to answer this question, Gustafsson is the most likely player to be traded soon. We’re four hours away from the deadline, so this trade needs to happen soon.
This makes sense for two reasons, multiple playoff teams need to add depth to their defense, and the Blackhawks need draft picks. A big rumor has the Panthers looking to add a defenseman. Gustafsson hasn’t been talked about going there but it could happen. Gustafsson has ties with the Panthers. Those ties are with Joel Quenneville.
Another team that makes sense would be the Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights are the most talked-about team to trade for Gustafsson. What would they give up for him?
My fear is a conditional draft pick. If they’re trading a player with the upside that Gustafsson has, we need certainty. Is he worth a first-round pick? Probably not. If he was close to 60 points again this season, maybe.
I think if the Blackhawks can’t get at least a second-round draft pick, Gustafsson is off the table. If they add more to the deal, including maybe one of their picks, they could grab a first-round pick from a desperate team.
The way to get a first-round pick would involve the Blackhawks giving up maybe their second or third-round pick. If Lehner was added to that pick, a first-round choice would be guaranteed. We’ll have to see what Stan Bowman decides to do. We will know within the next four hours.