Trade deadline day is always nerve-wracking or exciting depending on where you are in the standings and who your GM is. In Chicago...I think it's safe to say that Stan has no more reputation capital left with the fans. I woke up today ready to be disappointed and angry, but that hasn't happened. Stan Bowman has had a good day wheeling and dealing. Let's break it down
Pretty good indication of how wildly the trade market can swing from year to year. Last year, the Blackhawks had the best goalie on an expiring deal and managed to get a fringe prospect, a 2nd round pick, and a fringe NHL goalie. This year Stan took his most valuable asset and turned him into a 2nd and a 3rd round pick. That, in my opinion, is a very good get for Janmark. The Hawks picked up for relatively cheap in the offseason in a one-year deal and have turned his solid year into a couple of decent lottery tickets. That's a win for Stan. Credit to him.
This was Gaudette for Matthew Highmore, straight up. I like Matthew Highmore. He was a nice player in the bubble last year and he works hard. He just is what he is at this point. Never going to be more than a 4th line player. Gaudette has more upside. Gaudette won the Hobey Baker a couple years ago playing with Dylan Sikura at Northeastern. He's never really popped at the NHL level. Not a great skater, but he's a big body who knows where the goals are. It is possible for him to turn into a competent 3rd line winger in the NHL. Gaudette will could give a little more scoring pop to the bottom 6. Highmore never was going to do that. A trade that will likely be insignificant in the long run for either team, but its a worthwhile trade because Gaudette does have some upside.
I am guessing that neither of these guys will play consistently in the NHL. Having said that…getting any return for Soderberg is impressive. The Hawks signed him off the street right before the season started only because Toews and Dach were going to be out for an extended period of time. The kid Rolston apparently has some ability. Another "well..who knows" roll of the dice on a trade. Soderberg was never going to a part of the team in the future. In Rolston the Hawks got a prospect who at least has a chance to help them at some level.
So there you go. A passing grade on the trades that Stan Bowman made today. I would've been mad if he stood pat. He didn't do that. I will say that this sort of bothered me
Zadorov has been better lately, but he is not one of my favorites. I wish the Blackhawks would've flipped him for a draft asset as well. He's a free agent this summer. He's probably going to get close to $4M which is too much for the Blackhawks to shell out to a 3rd pair level dman when they have Boqvist, Beaudin, Stillman, Regula, Wyatt Kaiser, and Vlasic all in the fold and hopefully coming to the NHL relatively soon.
Overall though, I like the organizational depth for the future better today than I did 10 days ago. Next year you could see Lukas Reichel, Evan Barratt, and Henrik Borgstrom in the mix with Kurashev, Hagel, and the young D as supporting type players. The Blackhawks have a LONG way to go before they're a Cup contending team, but they're stronger now than they were and Stan deserves credit for that.
I don't think so…? Soderberg, Janmark, and Highmore aren't the engine of the team. There's a chance that net-net they could be a little better offensively with Brett Connolly, Vinnie Hinostroza, and Adam Gaudette than they were with the three players they gave up. I really like Janmark, but he's not a make or break guy. If the Hawks want to be a playoff team it is still right there for them. If they don't make the playoffs it won't be because they sold off these guys. It will be because the roster constructed over the last 3-4 years simply isn't good enough. If they don't make the playoffs then they are right back in the lottery…again…and that is probably better for them long term as long as they don't draft more soft, undersized, stupid players.