Can the Chicago Blackhawks Take Advantage of a Quiet Trade Market?

New York Rangers v Chicago Blackhawks
New York Rangers v Chicago Blackhawks / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Elias Lindholm is off the board, 3 weeks ago already, and since then... Nothing. Sure there is the splattering of typical NHL transactions that are both inconsequential or lateral in movement. Even some extensions of late as well (Michael Rasmussen of the Red Wings of note) that further put in motion the thought that this could be a quiet trade deadline.

The perceived big names like Jake Guentzel are hurt (said to make a potential return after the trade deadline passes) which complicates deals even more so. Would a team risk a high level asset like a 1st round draft pick on a player that is coming off of an injury this late in the season? Bigger question may be, are the Penguins going to lose him for nothing in the offseason and therefore willing to take a less than appealing return now so they get at least "something".

Do some teams like the Vegas Golden Knights, who put Mark Stone and his cap hit on LTIR for the rest of the season, go all in on an expensive addition to try and repeat? Maybe there isn't a player (now that Lindholm is off the board) that is that big of an add to want to make that type of deal this go around for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

That's where Chicago could be active. Sure, they've resigned all of their supposed trade chips in Petr Mrazek, Jason Dickinson, and Nick Foligno. So what are their options? Take advantage of the recent play of pending UFA Colin Blackwell? Could the market (or lack thereof) yield a round bump up for the bottom 6 forward? Where once thought of as a 5th or 6th round compensation piece, could he now command a 4th or even a 3rd round return due to the tightness of the league entering the deadline on March 8th?

Does a veteran like Tyler Johnson, with a 50% retained salary, interest anyone looking for a dependable flexible forward with Stanley Cup experience? Or maybe it's one of the Hawks' RFA players like Boris Katchouk, Mackenzie Entwistle, or Taylor Raddysh that hold interest across the league as assets that are more controllable for the foreseeable future?

Tyler Johnson
Vancouver Canucks v Chicago Blackhawks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

While non of these players will command outstanding returns, this year's trade deadline could be quiet and thusly making some of these unheralded Blackhawks more appealing to teams looking to fill bottom 6 roles heading into the playoffs.