General Manager Kyle Davidson Explains Why The NHL Tradeline Was So Quiet for the Chicago Blackhawks

The GM only made one trade before the deadline.

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This year's NHL trade deadline was rather tame for the Chicago Blackhawks compared to the year before. That is what happens when general manager Kyle Davidson makes only one deal before the deadline compared to the nine he made last year.

Anthony Beauvillier was dealt yesterday to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a fifth-round pick. Beauvillier was just brought in from the Vancouver Canucks in late November to bolster a forward group ravaged by injuries.

Ironically, injuries limited him to 23 games. He produced just six points during his brief Hawks tenure. The hope was he could recapture the scoring form that made him a 20-goal scorer for the New York Islanders, but it was never meant to be. Davidson essentially recouped the draft pick he gave up to acquire Beauvillier in the first place. It will just be a little bit later in the fifth round.

The main reason the Hawks were going to have a quiet trade deadline was Davidson just did not have many veterans with value to trade.

Forwards Nick Foligno and Jason Dickinson along with goalie Petr Mrazek would have attracted strong interest on the trade market but were removed from it after they agreed to two-year contract extensions.

Davidson valued the veteran leadership of Foligno, the emerging scoring of Dickinson, and Mrazek's ability to professionally cover the net until Drew Commesso is ready.

Veteran forwards Tyler Johnson and Colin Blackwell were the only veterans rumored to have some interest on the market but they were not going to bring back much to the Hawks. The only other way the Blackhawks were possibly going to get a premium draft pick was to help a cap-strapped contender take on some salary cap space to facilitate a trade.

Davidson explained that he was only getting late-round picks in offers to be a third-party. That was not exactly appealing to him.

It makes sense for Davidson to wait until the offseason to see if he can get a team with cap problems to give up a better asset.

He got a first-round pick in 2022 from the Toronto Maple Leafs to take on Mrazek's contract. He took advantage of the Boston Bruins' cap crunch last offseason when he acquired Taylor Hall and Foligno. Davidson also got a 2026 second-round choice for taking on Josh Bailey's cap charge from the Islanders.

If you think about it, the best Davidson probably would have done is a third-round choice considering that is what the Arizona Coyotes got last season when they helped out the Hawks and the New York Rangers in the Patrick Kane deal.

This year's market was not very good for the third team involved in a trade to help the salary cap part of the deal work.

The Tampa Bay Lightning got a fourth-round pick for helping broker Adam Henrique's trade to the Edmonton Oilers from the Anaheim Ducks. The Philadelphia Flyers got a fifth-round pick for being the third team to help the Vegas Golden Knights acquire Noah Hanifin from the Calgary Flames.

At this point in the rebuild, the Hawks need to get better assets than that if they are going to help a contender get better by using the team's vast salary cap space. Thinking long-term when it comes to the salary cap and the draft has been one of Davidson's strengths. It was smart that he stayed disciplined.

Blackwell and Johnson are set to be unrestricted free agents after the season. Considering the Blackhawks have prospect depth to replace them, not getting something back is not the end of the world. Davidson could always bring them back on a one-year deal much like he did with Andreas Athanasiou last summer.