As the NHL Trade Deadline approaches, it is important for each team to assess their roster. Instead of going from player to player giving out letter grades, it may make more sense as a "seller" to give a 1-10 score based on how likely it is for each player to be traded at March 3rd's deadline.
Below will be a list of one player at a time in a random order. Next to them will be a number between one and ten. One being unlikely to be moved and ten meaning the player will almost definitely be traded. These grades will be based on how valuable that player currently is to the Blackhawks, trade rumors, expiring contracts/contract term, and how "in demand" that type of player is right now. We'll start by getting the big two out of the way.
Patrick Kane: 5/10
Only Patrick Kane can decide whether he is traded, and according to a TSN report made recently, still has not made a decision. We'll say it is fifty-fifty right now.
Jonathan Toews: 5/10
Of course, as we know, Jonathan Toews' situation is the same as Patrick Kane's, fifty-fifty.
Sam Lafferty: 9/10
It is almost certain that Same Lafferty will be wearing a new jersey in March. High-energy forwards with low cap hits who are under contract for the following season are sought after by pretty much every cup contending team. Think similarly to the Brandon Hagel deal. Although the return for Lafferty will not be as lucrative, it may be a bit more than expected. More than the Blackhawks gave up to acquire him at least.
Jake McCabe: 7/10
There have been a few rumors surrounding Jake McCabe's future lately. He is similar to Lafferty in that his contract has term and he is the type of player that teams chasing a cup want on their roster. The concerns are his cap hit and seven team no trade clause. It is more of a fact of if a team can fit his contract under their cap and give up the assets it would take to acquire him with salary retention than anything. Many teams can use a shutdown defenseman of McCabe's caliber.
Connor Murphy: 6/10
A very similar situation to McCabe's. Teams are interested, but have to be willing to find a way to make it work. The interest Murphy has garnered from other teams around the league say he will likely be traded, but his cap hit and no trade clause could make it difficult for teams to acquire him.
Andreas Athanasiou: 9/10
It would surprise fans if Athanasiou finished the season on the Blackhawks. It seemed the whole purpose of signing him was to give him a good opportunity to up his value and then trade him for picks and prospects. He has done enough to increase value, but probably not enough to make Kyle Davidson change his mind and keep him around.
Alex Stalock: 8/10
There are a few teams out there that need a goalie and every team could use depth at the position regardless. Think about Nashville last season, Juuse Saros was injured and the team got swept in the first round partly because they did not have a reliable backup in net. Being on an expiring contract, there should be other general managers calling about Stalock.
Philipp Kurashev: 1/10
Kurashev seems to have taken a bit of a step forward lately. His play has improved this season, especially over the last 10-15 games. Given his age and his development, it would be a surprise to see him traded. It would likely take an offer that "wows" Kyle Davidson to move the young forward. Even given his recent play, it is unlikely many teams competing for a cup right now could really use him or even find a spot in the lineup where he would fit and make sense.
Jack Johnson: 9/10
It would not be surprising if Johnson went back to Colorado where he won the cup last season, or to any team for that matter. What kind of playoff bound team doesn't want a cheap depth rental on the blueline? Teams will be willing to give up a mid to late round draft pick for Johnson as well, which is fair value.
Seth Jones: 1/10
If Kyle Davidson could get rid of one contract Stan Bowman signed, it would no doubt be this one. Although teams are interested in Jones, his full no move clause makes it highly unlikely that he is traded. It is important to also remember that when Columbus was looking to trade the defenseman, he made it clear that he would only play for either Chicago or Dallas. Dallas does not have the cap space for Jones' massive contract.
Taylor Raddysh: 4/10
It should be doubtful that Raddysh gets traded. Crazier things have happened and us Blackhawk fans know that better than anyone. As long as there is not great offer, Raddysh should be safe. He has quietly had a good season and is around the age when the average forward breaks out into their prime years. There has been no mention of him in trade rumors and he should be a part of the rebuild similarly to Kurashev.
Colin Blackwell: 8/10
Blackwell is not a flashy player, but has made an impact with his energy and defensive play. Expect Blackwell, who is on an expiring contract, to be moved for a return similar to Jack Johnson. He has a similar demand to Lafferty.
Jason Dickinson: 5/10
Dickinson is under contract for next season and has been a great addition to this team. His type of play is needed by a few teams, but even with a fair cap hit, it may be a bit much for most teams. Regardless of what happens to Dickinson, it will not be surprising either way.
Caleb Jones: 2/10
Caleb Jones will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. It seems very unlikely that Jones will be traded. Unless Jones and the team meet to discuss an extension and are far off on the figures and other teams are calling, Jones will stay.
Jarred Tinordi: 7/10
Plenty of teams should be willing to give up a late round pick for Tinordi to add depth at the blueline. Considering his usage and performance, Tinordi will likely want to re-sign with the Blackhawks. It is up to Davidson if he thinks Tinordi or the offered pick is more valuable to the team.
MacKenzie Entwistle: 3/10
Entwistle has had an alright season, but has been invisible at times. It seems unlikely he has caught the eyes of other general managers to the point of wanting to make a trade.
Jujhar Khaira: 3/10
If any teams calls about Khaira, consider him gone. Similar to Entwistle, there likely wont be any calls for Khaira. If there are it is a definite "yes" considering he is on an expiring contract and likely will not be re-signed.
Reese Johnson: 1/10
It is highly unlikely any teams are interested in Johnson. He will likely finish the season with the team and either go to free agency afterwards, or re-sign and be sent to Rockford for next season.
Max Domi: 9/10
Domi will almost certainly be traded. Like Athanasiou, that was kind of the point. Domi has been a great fit here and has expressed his desire to stay in Chicago for years to come, but that may not be enough to prevent a trade. Plenty of teams are already showing interest in the forward and the return he can bring in a trade may be too good to pass up. It would not be surprising if he gets traded and then comes back to the team in the offseason and signs long-term.
If we as Blackhawks fans have learned anything over the years, it's that any trade can happen and we should never be surprised no matter how mind-boggling or boneheaded it may be, nor how soul-crushing it may be to the franchise and fanbase. After quite a few of those, there are not really any more players left to be traded that can make us feel that way again for awhile.
Hopefully, this upcoming trade deadline and offseason can be successful in excelling the rebuild. No matter who is traded, hopefully there is a better return than what the team got for Kubalik and Strome. Let the stress begin.