Category Archives: Chi. Blackhawks

Initial Recation: Hjalmarsson and Saad/Panarin trades 

The host city for this year’s NHL Entry Draft, Chicago, made a gigantic splash early on in the day. 

Shortly after the Blackhawks were eliminated from the playoffs, general manager Stan Bowman promised change. Clearly unhappy with being swept out in the first round, change is exactly what Stan Bowman brought. 

The first move he made was trading defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to Arizona in exchange for defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin. Although initially believed to be a salary cap move, the Blackhawks wound up only saving approximately $300,000. 

Trading Hjalmarsson was surely a difficult endeavor for Bowman. The Swede has been one of the most underrated defensemen in the league for quite some time now. 

Connor Murphy is a formidable NHL player but he is not at the caliber of Hjalmarsson, at least not yet. To be fair, Murphy is younger and carries more of a certainty with his cost (signed for five more years at $3.85 million). Hjalmarsson only has two more seasons left on his current deal before he hits unrestricted free agency. 

Dauphin, once considered a top prospect, has fallen off a bit, but he still holds the capability of being an NHL regular. Whether he plays in Chicago or Rockford next season remains to be seen. 

However, with no disrespect towards Murphy or Dauphin, this is a great trade for Arizona. Hjalmarsson will serve as a good mentor and experienced winner on a young Coyotes squad. Plus, obviously, he is a fantastic defender. 

The Blackhawks were not done yet though. A few moments later, rumblings from Elliott Friedman indicated a swap involving Brandon Saad and Artemi Panarin was in the air. With a few extra moving parts, the deal did eventually go through. 

The final result was Columbus getting Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte and Chicago getting Brandon Saad (back) and Anton Forsberg. Low picks were also swapped. 

It is hard to get a read on this trade. Panarin and Kane had chemistry, but you could put almost anyone on Kane’s line and they will click given Kane’s skill set. 

The overarching theme here, I believe, is that the Hawks were looking for someone to play with Jonathan Toews. He and Saad were dominant in the few years they were together. After consecutive disappointing years by Toews, maybe this will give him the boost he needs. 

As for Panarin, he was just set to begin a new deal with Chicago. He is set to earn $6 million for the next two years before hitting unrestricted free agency. 

This is a trade that will be looked at in hindsight after seeing how Saad and Panarin perform on their (technically) new teams. 

As for the other pieces, Motte will likely slot in the bottom six for Columbus. Forsberg will have the chance to compete for a backup spot in Chicago. 

Stay tuned for more draft coverage. 

Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

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Predicting Protected Lists: Chicago Blackhawks 

The Blackhawks are in a tough spot for the expansion draft. They have eight players currently on no-movement clauses, including three defensemen. Chicago does not have many options in terms of who they are going to protect, but they could make some deals before the expansion draft to ensure they do not lose a major asset. 

From the forward group, Kane, Toews, Anisimov, and Hossa all have no-movement clauses. None are expected to waive. 

For the remaining three spots, Ryan Hartman and Richard Panik will likely get two of them. 

The last protection space could go to either Dennis Rasmussen or Tomas Jurco. 

On defense, Stan Bowman does not have a choice (unless he goes with 8 skaters and 1 goalie and loses Ryan Hartman instead — which is highly unlikely). Keith, Seabrook, and Hjalmarsson have no-movement clauses.  

By being required to protect these three defensemen, the likes of Ville Pokka and Trevor van Riemsdyk will be exposed. 

In goal, Corey Crawford also has a no-movement clause. Scott Darling was traded to Carolina a few weeks ago, so protecting Crawford is not an issue. 

Chicago’s protection list is likely to look like this:

Forwards: Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Artem Anisimov, Marian Hossa, Ryan Hartman, Richard Panik, and Dennis Rasmussen OR Tomas Jurco

Defense: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Nick Hjalmarsson

Goalie: Corey Crawford

In all, the Blackhawks have very limited options when it comes to the expansion draft unless they make a significant trade. 

There have been rumors of Vegas taking Marcus Kruger’s contract, but the Blackhawks would be giving up Trevor van Riemsdyk and other assets to Vegas as well. However, nothing has come to fruition yet. 

Next team: Colorado Avalanche 

Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

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.

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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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