What's The Bigger Deadline Need For The Hawks; Winger Or Defense?

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We are 10 days away from the trade deadline so everyone is throwing on their GM hat. One of the best things about being a Hawks fan is knowing that Stan Bowman will always find a way to add another toy or two at the deadline. Stan Bowman is basically like the Donald Trump of NHL GMs. “We’re going to win so much, we’re going to build a giant wawl and MEXICO will pay for it”. Stan says “we’re going to win so much, we are going to add players at the deadline, and the other teams are going to pay for them”. Now, Stan doesn’t talk unless he has to, and when he gives Belichick-esque answers. He does get other GMs around the league to pick up part of the tab so the Hawks can stay under the Salary Cap. Kris Versteeg, Rob Scuderi, David Rundblad, Antoine Vermette, and Andrew Desjardins were all getting paychecks from other teams while wearing the Indian Head sweater. The question isn’t if the Hawks will add a piece, but who.

According to the Blackhawks have $3.9Million of available deadline space, and you can actually stretch that to $4.7ish because a current roster player will be demoted AHL after a subsequent trade. Coach Q said on Wednesday that the team could use another forward or two, but there’s obviously a need for some depth on defense as well. That was highlighted the other night against the Rangers. It was a really rough game for Gustafsson and Rozsival. TVR, even though he seems to be the guy the fans decided to arbitrarily shit on this year, has taken a step forward in his game. Even with that step, he’s still not as reliable in the top 4 as Johnny Oduya had been. The Hawks have also been looking for that top 6 LW that they can put next to Toews and Hossa. Shaw has been really solid in that role, but if the Hawks can upgrade the top line, Shaw will be more properly slotted on the 3rd line. Then the entire roster looks a lot better.



Andrew Ladd

This is the dream scenario. Andrew Ladd comes home to Chicago, brings size, sand, and scoring ability to the top line. He knows the Hawks system and several of the guys still on the team, so the transition should be much smoother than a normal deadline acquistion. Ladd is in the final year of his contract with Winnipeg and contract negotiations have been difficult. He carries a $4.7M cap hit, which would take the Hawks right to their limit, but he a perfect fit as a rental player. Jets GM, Kevin Cheveldayoff, came from the Blackhawks front office so its likely that he has a good working relationship with Stan. The price will probably be pretty steep. 1st round pick and a prospect, but Ladd is the type of player that could potentially put the Hawks over the top so I think you make that move if you can.


I’m only including JVR here because people send me links to articles about JVR rumors and I don’t get it at all. It always involves Bickell and Teravainen. I don’t think that trade makes sense for either team. Why would the Leafs want to trade a guy in his prime that you can pencil in for 30 goals when he only carries a cap hit of $4.25M? That’s the type of guy you hold on to through your rebuild. And why would the Hawks trade for a player coming off an injury in an effort to win the Cup now? I would love get JVR in the fold somehow, but trading Teravainen for him doesn’t make sense even if the Leafs pick up the tab on Bickell. I think JVR only gets mentioned in Blackhawks rumors because TVR is already here. So really, I’m writing this just so people will stop asking about JVR to Chicago because there’s less than a 1% chance it happens.

Dale Weise

He’s not as good as Ladd obviously, but possesses a lot of the same traits at a fraction of the cost. Weise can slide up and down the lineup, but he’s probably better suited to be on the 3rd line. Either way he adds depth, net front presence, and sand to the forward group. I’d love to bring in Dale Weise. Habs GM, Marc Bergevin also came from the Stan Bowman front office tree. Minimal cap hit for Weise at just over $1M. The Hawks could potentially add Weise and still have enough cap space and assets to help the blue line.

Teddy Purcell

Purcell has been linked to the Blackhawks lately by some of the most trusted names in hockey media. I’m a big fan of Teddy Purcell. Good size and skill. He can also slide up and down the lineup. He’s shown the ability to play with elite players. He had a good run playing with Stamkos from 2011-13. And has done okay playing on a bad Edmonton team the past two years. However, he carries a $4.5M cap hit. Unless Edmonton is willing to eat a good portion of that I think the Hawks have to walk away.

Loui Ericksson

Bruins fans have been asking about this trade rumor that I guess was started on the Felger and Mazz Show. I just don’t see it. The Bruins likely want to make a hockey trade if they move Loui. They would need a defenseman that can play for them right away. That’s not something the Blackhawks have an abundance of. If the Bruins are willing to move him for the rental price of a draft pick and prospect, then maybe something gets done, but I don’t think Ericksson is a great fit in Chicago. He was called “the most underrated player in hockey” for so long that I think he actually became overrated. The Blackhawks are built on quickness. Quick feet and/or quick hands. Loui doesn’t really excel at either at this point. Still a good player. Just not someone I would want to break the bank for as a rental. I think there are better ways to allocate that Cap Space than spending $4.25M on Loui.


Mikkel Boedker

Another guy capable of filling a top LW spot for the Blackhawks, and Arizona has fallen out of the playoff picture so they should be free to sell at this point. Boedker carries a manageable cap hit of 3.75M. He’d be a nice pickup. I would be excited if the Hawks added Boedker, but I’d prefer to see the Hawks add a forward with a little more bite to their game.



There’s a much smaller pool of available rental defensemen. It’s hard to imagine the Blackhawks having a ton of interest in Roman Polak, Justin Schultz, or Dan Hamuis. The only two guys that are appealing rentals are Kris Russell and John Michael-Liles. The availability of both is actually in question. The Flames are reportedly still trying to work out an extension for Russell, and Carolina is still in the playoff hunt and may not want to deal an important piece of their defense.


At the end of the day, its #InStanWeTrust. He’s earned the right not to be second-guessed because he’s made both bold moves and minor moves during his tenure and just about everything seems to work out. Best case scenario, the Hawks add Andrew Ladd and Kris Russell, and find someone to take on some of Bickell’s money. Unlikely, but if Stan pulls that off you can start engraving his name on the Cup again right now. If the Hawks are only able to add one piece, I think I would prefer a forward. We saw last year that Keith, Seabrook, and Hjalmarsson can play basically the entire game if they have to. TVR and Rozsival are capable of playing 12-15 playoff minutes. And then you hope to get serviceable play from a combination of Gustafsson, Scuderi(he will be called back up for the playoffs when the cap is no longer a factor), Svedberg, or maybe, just maybe, Ville Pokka. I’m slightly concerned that teams will focus all their energy on stopping 72-15-88, and the Hawks won’t have enough secondary scoring when the competition ramps up. Adding a guy that can help Teravainen on the 3rd line will be huge for the Hawks.

Stan Bowman Leo