There's been a lot of chatter around the internet as various talking heads weigh on what the Chicago Blackhawks might do around the trade deadline. Questions such as, "who has the most trade value?" or "what team might need so-and-so player?" have started popping up in various media outlets. The problem is that Chicago really isn't in a position to start dealing away anyone and everyone.
The main issue with the Chicago Blackhawks at the negotiating table is that the team doesn't really have much leverage, and everyone knows it. There are articles by people like Ben Pope from the Chicago Sun-Times that correctly point out that Chicago needs their first-round pick back.
As Pope explains in his article, actually acquiring that pick is complicated because the money involved in moving someone that actually might be worth a first is a challenge, i.e. Marc-Andre Fleury, or what a package for another team might look like.
All of that is accurate, but in my opinion, the larger problem is that Chicago is in a bad spot because everyone knows they need that first-round pick. There's no denying that the rebuild has to be a priority, but the timeframe is the issue. Three years? Five years? Longer?
Regardless, the lack of a first-round pick for a team that desperately needs one is something that has to be worked into Chicago's plan. Not having that pick makes it harder for the Blackhawks to put together a package because every other general manager is able to exploit what they know Chicago is going to ask them for. "Sure, I'll give up a first, but it's gonna cost you."
This is the real problem for Chicago. Yes, the team needs their first-round pick, but they can't give up too much. The trade that cost them that pick, can't force their hand to make a bad deal. There are players to be traded, to be sure. There are teams that are allegedly interested, such as the Edmonton Oilers.
There's even been talk about trading Alex DeBrincat, and it would be a real shame if the team sold low on one of their top players to try and correct a past mistake. The team needs to figure out a path forward that accepts that they may not have a first-round pick for the next draft. Players will be changing teams by the time the deadline expires. Let's hope Chicago makes good choices rather than desperate ones.