2016 Trade Deadline: Blackhawks Blue Line Trade Targets

As we inch closer to the NHL trade deadline, we looked at some forwards that might interest the Blackhawks yesterday. Now, let’s chat about the blue line.

The Hawks have used a mix of veterans and rookies this season, and have already made one trade to improve the group of defensemen. But adding Rob Scuderi in place of Trevor Daley didn’t work, and Scuderi is now in Rockford and the Hawks have some more cap space to work with at the deadline.

Trevor van Riemsdyk has been the most consistent of the Hawks young defensemen, and we’ve seen flashes from Erik Gustafsson and Viktor Svedberg that indicates they have promise at the NHL level. But they might not be quite what the Hawks want/need to get back to the promised land this summer. Michal Rozsival has returned to the lineup as a serviceable bottom pair veteran, but the Hawks could be in the market for one more body.

There isn’t a “big four” here as we discussed with the forwards yesterday, but there is an intriguing mix of players who might be available.

Kris Russell

Kris Russell, Calgary
2015-16: 51 games, 4 goals, 11 assists, 15 points, -4
DOB: 5/2/87 (28 years old)
Cap Hit: $2.600M

  • The Good: Russell is a terrific defenseman who would be a solid addition.
  • The Bad: Calgary wants to re-sign Russell and keep him as part of their leadership group. But if they can’t, he’ll be one of the hot commodities on the market. He is cheaper and younger than Hamhuis, but those factors will impact the price to get him.
  • The Situation: the Flames (53 points) are ahead of only Edmonton in the Western Conference. A nice story last season has become a complete dumpster fire this year.
  • Deal Odds: totally depends on if Russell re-signs. If he doesn’t, this could be a move similar to Vermette last year.

Travis Hamonic

Travis Hamonic, NY Islanders
2015-16: 51 games, 4 goals, 9 assists, 11 points, -2
DOB: 8/16/90 (25 years old)
Cap Hit: $3.875M (signed thru 2019-20 season)

  • The Good: we made the case for Hamonic in November when reports surfaced that he had asked for a trade. He would potentially be a great fit, is signed to a long-term, team-friendly deal and is a terrific player on and off the ice.
  • The Bad: he’s young and signed to a team-friendly deal, which means he’ll be a popular player. His trade request was to be closer to home, which means the Hawks could be bidding against other division rivals (Winnipeg, Minnesota) and Chicago might not be the right location.
  • The Situation: the Isles have him under contract and are in the playoff picture right now, but might pull the trigger if the right deal is offered.
  • Deal Odds: slim during the season, but if the Hawks decided to be aggressive to address their blue line and made a strong offer…

Dan Hamhuis

Dan Hamhuis, Vancouver
2015-16: 32 games, 0 goals, 5 assists, 5 points, +4
DOB: 12/13/82 (33 years old)
Cap Hit: $4.500M (NTC)

  • The Good: Hamhuis is a nice player who would be a solid compliment to the Hawks’ top three defensemen. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer, which is also ideal, and the Canucks might be sellers soon.
  • The Bad: an injury had Hamhuis out of the lineup from Dec. 9 until Feb. 6, and he’s minus-three in six games since returning. The other negative factor here is Hamhuis will be a coveted veteran in a market desperate for blue line depth, so there might be a bidding war.
  • The Situation: Vancouver (56 points) is currently six points behind Nashville for the final wild card spot, but have gone 3-5-2 in their last ten and injuries continue to hurt their chances of making the postseason.
  • Deal Odds: slim. There will be teams (LA) that might be more inclined to pay the price to get Hamhuis out of Vancouver, and the Hawks limited cap space will likely be used to address more than one position.

Other Options

  • Mike Weber, Buffalo
    Weber, 28, is in the final year of a deal with a $1.667M cap hit. Buffalo is looking to get younger and has some young defensemen (Mark Pysyk, Rasmus Ristolainen) fighting for ice time. Weber has 71 hits in 34 games this season, and is averaging 16 minutes per night.
  • Tom Gilbert, Montreal
    Gilbert, 33, is in the final year of a deal with a $2.8M cap hit. Montreal is in a free fall and could be inclined to move veterans like Gilbert and/or Andre Markov. Markov, however, has another year left on his deal with a $5.75M cap hit and a no-trade clause, making him doubtful to be added in a trade.
  • Roman Polak, Toronto
    Polak, 29, is a UFA this summer with a $2.75M cap hit and, with Toronto likely trying to dump anyone who isn’t signed into next season, he could probably be had for a couple draft picks. That being said, Polak’s history against the Hawks while a member of the Blues makes it hard to see Chicago getting excited about adding him to the room.

17 thoughts on “2016 Trade Deadline: Blackhawks Blue Line Trade Targets

  1. I think the 7 defenders the Blackhawks have are good enough. Most of these would not be an improvement over any0ne other than Viktor Swedberg who is a slow skater.

    Dan Hamhuis is not physical and not strong offensively.
    Travis Hamonic does not want to be far away from home as Chicago.
    Kris Russell is small and has trouble with big forwards.
    Mike Weber is weal on Offense and takes lots of bad penalties.
    Tom Gilbert is not physical and often turns over pucks in defensive zone
    Roman Pollack seems like age has caught up to him like Scuderi.

  2. I think we need to listen to what Q said. Another guy or 2 up front. Stan has been good with giving him what he wants. If Q thinks they have enough D now then he’ll address the other areas of need. I think a larger upgrade up front is much more feasible than an upgrade on the back. At least a more significant upgrade.

  3. Rumblings out of Montreal are the Habs are looking at dumping salary and moving some players. Subban is not on the market, plus is salary makes adding him impossible, however his 37 yr old partner is said to be available. Markov is 37 and the Hawks would be on the hook for this year and next year but he is still playing at a high level. He is still a top 4 d-man and his style of play fits the Hawks. Just an off the radar name to consider.

  4. Tab, now I see that you mentioned Markov as well. Probably shouldn’t have skimmed the names and read everything.

    Markov salary actually drops next year to under 5 million. This season his actual dollars are 6 million and 4.25 next year and a modified NTC this year and next(not sure of the specifics).

  5. Habs are absolutely sellers, too bad for them their recent franshise upswing has been so derailed. They’ll move Markov and probably retain some salary, too. But losing Carey Price for the season exposed all the weaknesses they have been getting away with. Our club, on the other hand, can seem to absorb the loss of a key man for a while at least (knock on wood). Blackhawks far deeper and, like a world class portfolio, diversified.

  6. I had day-dreamed about a Chicago v. Montreal SC Final. We owe them a lot of payback from decades gone bye

  7. IMHO, Roman Polak belongs in the select group of {Barret Jackman, David Backes, Brad Marchand, Todd Bertuzzi, Matt Cooke, and Raffe Torres} who should never , ever be allowed to wear the proud Indian Head jersey!

  8. The Habs would love to dump over the hill Markov’s salary on the Hawks. The only way I would make that trade is if they took Bickell straight up.

  9. ….you are right red top…revenge against Montreal would be sweet but won’t happen this year either….team won’t be kept together and even Subban is for sale….but only players I would like to see on Blackhawks are Pacioretty…..maybe Markov and yes good old John Scott….NHL MVP now in AHL…lol…

  10. Amazing that Montreal has crumbled. It was Marc Bergevin who waited and waited at the draft then decided not to trade for Patrick Sharp because he and his scouts thought N. Joellson was too good to pass up with the 26th overall pick.

    In hindsight that trade would have worked out for both teams. Meantime the Hawks keep humming along and the Habs went bust.

    No thanks on any deal with them.

    I still think Stan will go out and get a defenseman to play the left side with Seabrook and it will likely be an off the radar name.

    We shall see. Tick tick goes the deadline clock.

  11. …..Montreal is done ….they have too many primadonnas on this team…but don’t blame Pacioretty …great player and leader ….surprised Bergevin didn’t see the problems with this team earlier….hard to believe a great historical hockey and French Canadian team out of the playoffs….hard to believe how the mighty have fallen…lol….

  12. No Canadian teams are going to make the playoffs. 2 teams from Florida and 3 from California could!

    Another name could be David Schlemko. Not a sexy name by any means.

  13. Hawkhead-Wrong….we clobbered the Pittsburg Penguins 5-1 at Soldier Field in March 2014. Lots of snow during the game.

  14. These out door games are to be fun and only fun. Not worth playing hard in for risk of unnecessary injury. Good omen weve won the Stanley Cup on years we havnt got the outdoor game.

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