Should the Chicago Blackhawks Trade for Vancouver Canucks Forward Andrei Kuzmenko?

Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson has already made one trade this season with the Vancouver Canucks when he sent a fifth-round pick for forward Anthony Beauvillier. Maybe Davidson should make another deal with the Canucks.

This time he should try to acquire forward Andrei Kuzmenko.

He was a healthy scratch in the Canucks most recent game against the St. Louis Blues. The word on the street is his forecheck is not up to the standards of head coach Rick Tocchet. Kuzmenko has struggled to find a role since Tocchet took over as head coach a year ago.

Also, the Canucks could use the cap space as Kuzmenko is a $5.5 million cap hit through next season. The Canucks are right up against the cap and will need to clear out space if they hope to sign Elias Petterson to an extension in the offseason.

There is a report out there that plenty of teams are calling about Kuzmenko's availability.

Should the Chicago Blackhawks be one of the teams calling?

The Hawks are now in the process of building back up the roster after completing a massive teardown last season. The forward group is currently decimated by injuries as Tyler Johnson, Taylor Raddysh, and Beauvillier have all recently gone on injured reserve. Taylor Hall is out for the season and Joey Anderson has been on IR since mid-December.

This team could use help at forward in the worst way.

Davidson has maintained he is not going to go out and make trades that could compromise the rebuild down the road. He also does not want to make trades that could end up costing the Hawks a player who could be part of the next good team. He certainly does not want to give up the draft capital to acquire those players as well.

He has been good about thinking long-term when it comes to maintaining salary cap flexibility. Davidson already has his focus on how much Kevin Korchinski, Alex Vlasic, and Connor Bedard will cost on their second contract. That is one reason Davidson wants a clean cap.

At the same time, the Hawks have not put much around Bedard.

He could use a legit goal-scoring threat to be on his line. Kuzmenko scored 39 goals while he dished out 35 assists last season.

Kuzmenko has 52.4 CF% this season along with a 76% offensive zone start percentage.

Bedard could use a player like Kuzmenko to skate with. When Andrei skates on Vancouver's top line, 14 goals have been scored. That is two more goals produced by Bedard's line with his most common linemates (includes Philipp Kurashev and then either Lukas Reichel, Nick Foligno, or Beauvillier).

The Chicago Blackhawks have the cap space to take on Kuzmenko's deal. They only have 10 players officially under contract for next season, so the team will need to make some deals just to get to the cap floor.

At the same time, Kuzmenko has fallen out of favor for a perceived lack of effort. When effort has been lacking, the Hawks have gotten drilled this season.

The one thing working in the Hawks' favor to get Kuzmenko engaged is head coach Luke Richardson wants to play a simple style of just getting the puck on the net. Kuzmenko would flourish in that system. The man led the NHL in shooting percentage last season.

It will come down to what are the Canucks asking for and who else is bidding? If the price is outrageous, then Davidson should stay disciplined and not make the trade.

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