Revisiting Chicago Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson's Moves During the 2023 Trade Deadline

Let's take a look back at the Blackhawks' busy 2023 Trade Deadline
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers / Rich Graessle/GettyImages
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Before the season, many speculated Jason Dickinson, Nick Foligno, and Petr Mrázek would be on new teams after the 2024 Trade Deadline. Kyle Davidson squashed those rumors when he inked the trio to two-year contract extensions in January.

This now leaves him with only Tyler Johnson and Colin Blackwell as pending unrestricted free agents likely to generate a trade market on March 8. They are the type of bottom-six contributors Stanley Cup contenders love to add late in the season, but neither will bring much of a return for the Blackhawks.

With Davidson set for a quiet Deadline, let’s take a look at last season’s which included nine deals and the departure of a legend.

To Ottawa: Future Considerations
To Chicago: Nikita Zaitsev, 2023 second-round pick (Roman Kantserov), 2026 fourth-round pick

When a general manager is only giving up “future considerations”, it’s hard to lose a deal. The Senators were looking to free up cap space to add Jakob Chychrun and paid the Hawks two draft picks in exchange for taking on Zaitsev and his $4.5 million cap hit. Zaitsev has played 44 games for Chicago and notched 10 points as a bottom-pair defenseman.

The real value in this trade is derived from the draft capital. Kantserov has posted a respectable 15 points in 51 KHL games as a rookie, and the 2026 fourth-rounder could turn into an NHL player down the line.

Nikita Zaitsev
Chicago Blackhawks v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

To Anaheim: Josiah Slavin
To Chicago: Hunter Drew

The Hawks hoped Josiah Slavin, the younger brother of Hurricanes stud defenseman Jaccob Slavin, could potentially turn into a depth forward for the big club after they signed him in 2021 and gave him 15 NHL games the following season. His progression stalled in Rockford, so they flipped him to Anaheim for Hunter Drew. Drew played 16 scoreless games for Rockford and now plays for the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate in Tucson.