Category Archives: Chi. Blackhawks

Three surprising players that could be traded in the next few months 

In less than six months, the entire shape of the NHL will be shifted. 

By that time, four major events will have passed: the trade deadline, the entry draft, free agency, and — most importantly — the expansion draft. 

The expansion draft is going to have huge ramifications on trades. In fact, it already has. Trades are at an all time low currently in the league, with no general manager moving a muscle due to the uncertainty ahead. 

As the days grow closer to March and then eventually June, trade chatter will be rampant. Due to protection lists being so limited this time around, some unusual names may pop up in trade rumors, including the following three. 

Brent Seabrook, D, Chicago Blackhawks 

The Blackhawks signed Seabrook to a massive eight year contract not too long ago. The deal carries a $6.875 million cap hit until the defenseman is 39 years old. 

There is a huge risk taken when signing a player, especially a defenseman, to a large contract that takes him that late in his career. Seabrook’s play is already declining which isn’t a good look for Chicago in the first year. 

You have to wonder if Stan Bowman will gauge the market on this one. It frees up a lot of cap space for the team (potentially for Panarin in two years), as well as gives young players such as Ville Pokka, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Gustav Forsling a chance at more minutes. 

Trading Seabrook would also allow the Blackhawks to protect one of Pokka, the main piece in the Nick Leddy trade, or van Riemsdyk from Las Vegas. 

One hitch, however, is that Seabrook has a full no movement clause. The fit would have to be prefect for the team acquiring him as well as the player. 

Stan Bowman would be wise to try to find a way to wiggle out of this deal before it is too late. Seabrook still has value in the league, but there is no saying how long that will last for due to his play style. 

Nate Schmidt, D, Washington Capitals 

Schmidt had an impressive first full year with Washington last season, boasting two goals and 16 points in 72 games. The smooth skating defenseman proved to be a reliable asset in both ends of the rink for the team. 

This season, though, hasn’t been as great. Schmidt has found himself in Barry Trotz’s doghouse, being a healthy scratch on numerous occasions. 

With the Capitals likely protecting John Carlson, Matt Niskanen, and Dmitri Orlov, Nate Schmidt would be exposed to Las Vegas. As a 25 year old defender, that could be very enticing for former Capitals general manager George McPhee. 

Although his value may not be overly high, Schmidt would be a good acquisition for many teams. He has all the fundamental characteristics of being a good top-four NHL player, including being a good skater and having good instincts. 

This’ll be an interesting one to keep an eye on. If Alzner is re-signed, Orlov will be as well. 

Andreas Athanasiou, C, Detroit Red Wings

 
Like Schmidt, this is another player who had an impressive season last year but has seemingly fallen out of favor with his current club. 

Athanasiou is one of the quickest players in the league and has amazing hands to go along with that. He is routinely scoring highlight level goals, albeit being a little streaky at times. 

With the emergence of Anthony Mantha, the Red Wings have a glut of forwards to be protected for the expansion draft. Zetterberg, Nielsen, Tatar, Nyquist, Mantha, Abdelkader make up for six of the seven spots.

It’s entirely possible that Athanasiou could be the seventh player protected, but you cannot rule a trade out of the picture. Despite his tendencies to disappear at times, there would be a boatload of teams interested in Athanasiou’s services. 

Riley Sheehan would be another name to keep an eye on depending how things progress. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles 

Eight teams that should protect four defensemen in the expansion draft 

In next summer’s expansion draft, teams have two options in which to protect their players. One is protecting seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie. The other choice is protecting eight skaters and one goalie. The former gives you more players to protect but you risk losing a top-four defenseman, whereas the latter allows you to hold onto that fourth (or fifth, if you so please) defenseman, but you are losing out on protecting two top-six forwards. It is a calculated risk that teams have to weigh, and there are eight teams that should choose to take the second option and protect four defensemen.  Read the rest of this entry

Ladd deal to Chicago has potential to work out for both clubs 

The next big domino of the NHL trading season fell on Thursday night, when the Winnipeg Jets traded captain Andrew Ladd to Chicago for Marko Dano and a first round pick. Other assets were involved, like Jay Harrison and a conditional pick, but the latter was the lump of the deal. 

This will be Ladd’s second stint with Chicago, the city where he won a Stanley Cup in 2010. Ladd was a victim of the first of three large cap crunches Chicago has gone through. 

Both teams make out well on this trade, that is if Chicago wins the Cup again. The Blackhawks brought in Ladd to play along side Jonathan Toews, a spot formerly occupied by a number of players including Ryan Garbutt for a short period of time. 

The package coming back to Winnipeg sets them up quite nicely as well. Marko Dano, although bouncing around a lot from team to team, is a solid player with the potential to be a top-six forward. The Jets also add another first round pick, likely in the 24 to 30 range. The Jets are loaded up front for the future with the likes of Scheifele, Connor, Dano, Lemieux, Petan, Ehlers, Roslovic, and Armia. 

This deal sets up the market for the upcoming days. Beside Loui Eriksson, and maybe Mikkel Boedker depending how desperate teams are, Ladd was probably the priciest option out there. Actually, as the trade rumors came through, I was writing something up saying that teams that lose out on Ladd could potentially go after the similar but cheaper option in Jamie McGinn from Buffalo. Florida and Pittsburgh could be on that. 

We will likely see more trades come through before the deadline, which does take some of the excitement out of Monday, but it’s fun to see trades regardless. 

Other updates: 

-Like the Jets, other teams up north are gathering offers for some of their players before deadline day. Edmonton has been aggressively shopping Justin Schultz. Don’t be surprised if that gets done within 24 hours. Montreal has looked at options for Weise but nothing yet, that’ll probably wait for Monday. 

-A Loui Eriksson trade will likely have to wait until Monday at around 3 o’clock to come in. Boston doesn’t mind holding onto him either. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Penguins trade vet Rob Scuderi to Blackhawks for Trevor Daley

Midway through their game between the Capitals on Monday night, the Penguins announced that they had traded veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi in exchange for Trevor Daley from Chicago. Per TSN’s Bob McKenzie, one-third of Scuderi’s salary was retained. 

Scuderi is on the third year of his four year deal and is about to turn 37 on December 30th. He sits at a 3.375 million cap hit without retained salary in mind. Daley, acquired in the Patrick Sharp trade, also has two years left but is at a 3.3 million cap hit. The highly explosive offensive defenseman has had a rough time adjusting in Chicago. 

Both players needed a change of scenery but whether it will work out remains to be seen. Chicago gets a declining veteran with another year on the books while Pittsburgh gets an offensive defenseman that will not help out improve play in their own end. 

Both players remain without a goal on the season. Daley will see more ice time in Pittsburgh after being shelved behind the likes of Keith, Seabrook, and Hjalmarsson. 

This was the first trade of the NHL season and addressed Jim Rutherford’s yearning for a change on the back end. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Blackhawks Hoping Cheap Depth Can Compensate Offseason Losses

The Blackhawks almost seemingly run on a two year schedule — win cup, sell, off year, repeat — but this year felt different. The main reason for this was that this cap crunch for Chicago was worse than ever before. Stan Bowman has had to let go of key parts of the team after both the 2010 and 2013 Cups, but this year hurt the most. They had to say goodbye to Patrick Sharp, a long-time Hawk, Johnny Oduya, who had been with the team since the 2011-2012 season, Kris Versteeg, who was with his second stint with the team, and lastly, the one that hurt the most, Brandon Saad. Saad was coming off his entry level deal and left in a trade to sign a contract with Columbus worth six million per year.  Read the rest of this entry

The Five Best Contracts in the NHL

In the recent history of the NHL, there have been a lot of bad contracts, mainly in free agency. Dave Bolland makes 5.5 million per year and David Clarkson got a contract that had him at a 5.25 million cap hit for seven years. But, amidst all that, there have been some great contracts, but they mostly come from re-signings. It seems like the general managers have learned from their mistakes this summer however, because all contracts given out have been very modest. Either way, these five players should probably find new agents.
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Trades Highlight Day Two of 2015 NHL Draft

Although nothing will out-do the hours leading up to the draft yesterday, day two was no bust on the trade front. The GMs worked tirelessly to improve their teams whilst trying to find gems in the later round of the draft. Day two saw the trade of Cam Talbot finally, but still no Patrick Sharp or Phil Kessel. 
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Winners and Losers of Day One of the 2015 NHL Draft

It was an exciting first day of the 2015 NHL Draft, one of the most exciting in years. It saw played such as Robin Lehner, Dougie Hamilton, and Milan Lucic traded before the draft even started, and a bunch of other deals during the draft. Some deals left us scratching our heads, but others were great and out of the blue for teams. Here are our winners and losers of day one. 
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