As we get closer and closer to the Trade Deadline the more I find the Chicago Blackhawks in the driver’s seat. The Blackhawks have the championship experience, and a few of those players are still here. Also the Blackhawks have a very deep prospect group who can be used to get them what they need for another cup run.
The Blackhawks have a good amount of picks for the 2011 NHL Entry draft that could help them land a name for their playoff run. Along with their normal picks the Blackhawks have the Atlanta Thrasher’s 2nd Round Pick which was acquired along with Ivan Vishnevskiy for Andrew Ladd. The Blackhawks also have the Calgary Flame’s 2nd round pick. For the 3rd round the Blackhawks acquired the Toronto Maple Leaf’s pick from the Calgary Flames in the same deal that landed them Calgary’s 2nd round pick. Chicago also owns the Boston Bruin’s 7th round pick which was acquired for the Blackhawks 2010 7th round pick.
Now onto the players, first off is center Nathan Davis. The center has only played 72 games in the AHL in 3 seasons. He is quite often injured, and could be a piece to acquire something in return, maybe just for another AHL player who will play. Also at forward is Kyle Beach. The forward shows he has a very in-consistent game, and can hurt his team with dumb on ice acts. Beach’s value is a bit high right now, but along with that value also you would get his reputation that some teams may not like. However, there are teams out there who like Beach’s style and may be willing to take him in. two other pieces in the minors are Evan Brophey and Rob Klinkhammer. The 2 skaters have paid their dues in the AHL and may be ready for the jump to the NHL, and there may not be room on the Blackhawks roster for them.
On D the Blackhawk’s organization has a very solid depth core. Nick Leddy has proved he is going to be a solid NHL player, and a move won’t be made involving him. However after Leddy there are still quite a bit of Offensive D-men depth behind him. Brian Connelly, the Rockford Icehogs All-Star representative is having a very good year. However, when it comes down to it, Connelly will have a hard time to beat out some of these other players, especially since he lacks size. The towering Simon Danis-Pepin has yet to prove he is a full time AHL player. Danis-Pepin doesn’t use his size to his advantage, he has good vision and can create offensive opportunities, but he is so in-consistent he usually finds himself in the ECHL. Two other notable D-men who could bring value are Vishnevskiy and Shawn Lalonde. Lalonde has developed in a better 2-way player but still has that offensive play in him, and could be a valued piece, but I would rather him not be moved. Vishnevskiy is a very good offensive D-man. He is a solid power play quarterback, and has a tremendous shot, but sometimes it appears he lacks the “want” to play.
Finally there are the Blackhawks roster players. There’s not many but some could be moved. Viktor Stalberg, who I prefer not to be moved, may have some value out there. Also on D is Jordan Hendry. Hendry is still a bit young and could help either a rebuilding team or playoff contenders. He brings plenty of versatility as he can play wing or D. Also a long shot, but teams could be interested in Nick Boynton. Boynton brings cup experience, along with his gritty defensive ways could help a team who is looking for that style. It’s a long shot, but with today’s cap, but never rule out the un-expected.
The Final decision comes down to Stan Bowman though. With the recent acquisition of Michael Frolik he is expected to build for a cup run. The Blackhawks have plenty of young guys who will join the organization soon, along with some newly drafted players. It may be time to move some of the Dale Tallon non-hopefuls for the future.