Editorials

Trade Value Up, Blackhawks Trending Down

Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks
Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Over the summer, Kyle Davidson signed Andreas Athanasiou and Max Domi to one year contracts. At the time, these deals appeared to serve the purpose of trade bait at the deadline as Athanasiou and Domi were both signed for an affordable $3,000,000.

If the two were to get traded, they’d need to add value to their names. Thankfully for Davidson, Domi and Athanasiou have both been building their trade stock lately. Through 11 games, Domi and Athanasiou have seven and six points, respectively. Athanasiou has three points in his last five games, and Domi has four points in his last five games. Playing on a line with Patrick Kane has definitely helped the two add to their point totals.

Kane, another potential trade candidate, started off the season slow; he recorded one point in his first four games. Lately, though, the 33-year-old has six points in his last five games–including a three point performance against the Oilers on Oct. 27. Given his age some may expect Kane’s scoring abilities would start to hinder. However, Kane is currently just under a point-per-game player and his value is on the rise again.

As the season has progressed, trade rumors surrounding Jonathan Toews have increased. Toews, 34, is under a hefty $10.5 million contract; a price that might be difficult to sell. Although, his point production as of late may override any potential salary complications. Toews is second in points on the team, behind Kane, with nine. The captain has seven goals already, just five away from the amount he recorded last season in 71 games. 

If they manage to maintain their scoring paces, these four players will be appealing for teams looking to acquire players at the deadline. Depending on the team they’re shipped to, Domi and Athanasiou could fetch any combination of draft picks in the first three rounds. Toews and Kane’s trades would look much different, but it’s difficult to predict what they could go for at present. Kane could easily return a first round pick–or two–as well as a prospect. Toews might be able to return a first round pick, he has the qualities that playoff teams will be looking for: three Stanley Cups, plenty of playoff experience, and a leadership mentality. The value of these four players is liquid; if they continue to produce, their stock will increase.

The Blackhawks can acquire plenty of high-round picks. In order for the picks to be effective, however, they need to be early in the rounds

Obviously, the Hawks’ win streak in late October wasn’t going to last forever. It ended after four games, but was highly unexpected considering their long losing streak to start last season. Chicago may not have a winning record this season, but the closer their win percentage is to .500, the lower their odds are for receiving a quality pick in the NHL Draft. Winning streaks like these can actually be detrimental in the long run. In Chicago’s case as a rebuilding team, being mediocre is worse than being awful. 

Recently coming off a four game losing streak, the likelihood of picking top three in the 2023 NHL Draft is looking a lot better. 

Dropping places in the standings and building their trade block to obtain more assets, what more could a rebuilding team want?

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