Earlier this week, Pierre LeBrun provided a few trade possibilities in a multi-part blog post on ESPN.com. The two hot names on the trade market right now are a couple elder statesmen who desperately want to win a ring: Jarome Iginla and Daniel Alfredsson.
Unfortunately for both, their long-time employers don’t seem to be in position to make that happen for them, and this is the final year of their respective contracts. While Iginla is a name that many Hawks fans have dreamt of for a couple years, could Alfredsson be a more likely target for Stan Bowman?
With Patrick Sharp now out for the next few weeks, the Hawks might look to add a veteran forward and Alfredsson might be the guy Bowman should target.
When examining options for Alfredsson, LeBrun made things appear to be simple.
From LeBrun’s post:
“I believe [Boston GM Peter] Chiarelli would covet being reunited with Daniel Alfredsson from his Ottawa days but that’s a situation that remains to be played out with the Senators in terms of whether they hang in the playoff race — which means Alfredsson would never move — or even if they fall out of it, whether the Sens captain would even want to go anywhere…
“I think there’s only one team Alfredsson would consider if he ever goes — and that’s Boston with the tie-in to former Senators teammate Zdeno Chara and the chance to win a Cup.”
If we’re going to use personal relationships as a barometer for accepting a trade away from the only organization Aldredsson’s ever played for, the Blackhawks might have a good foundation to recruit the future Hall of Famer: Marian Hossa spent seven years with Alfredsson in Ottawa.
The end of Hossa’s time in Ottawa was somewhat dubious, but that doesn’t change the fact that he played 460 games in the regular season and another 51 postseason games with Alfredsson.
Chicago netminder Ray Emery also spent time in Ottawa between the 2002-03 and 2007-08 seasons. It was during the 2006-07 season that Emery won 33 regular season games and led the Sens to the Stanley Cup Final.
However, Hossa and Emery aren’t the only members of the Blackhawks to have spent time on a roster with the Sens captain.
Johnny Oduya was a teammate of Alfredsson’s during the 2010 Winter Olympics. And, more recently, Alfredsson shared a dressing room with Viktor Stalberg, Marcus Kruger and Niklas Hjalmarsson at the 2012 World Championships.
If we’re looking for the best odds to win the Stanley Cup, it’s hard to argue against this year’s Blackhawks. Certainly Boston, Anaheim and a couple other cities could make a good case that he could be the missing piece, but Chicago isn’t looking for a “missing” piece right now.
However, while using personal relationships and odds of winning a ring are nice decent reasons to float a trade rumor, Alfredsson would fill a role with the Blackhawks.
Looking around the Hawks’ top six forwards, there’s something most share in common: they’re left-handed shots. Alfredsson is a righty.
Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad are all lefties; Sharp and Dave Bolland had been the prominent right-handers among the top six, but Bolland has missed five games and Sharp is now injured.
Alfredsson would also help the Blackhawks’ powerplay; so far this season, he is averaging 2:55 per game with the advantage for Ottawa. If Sharp misses extended time, having another right-handed shot on that unit would become an area of need.
From the Sens perspective, Chicago would likely be the more preferred trade partner to Boston as well.
Coming from a fan of a team that once traded a captain to a hated rival when the going got tough (cough… Chelios…), it’s nearly impossible to watch a leader wear the “wrong” sweater. Even with all the injuries they’ve dealt with in Ottawa this year, perhaps the most lethal blow to that fan base would be the sight of Alfredsson with the Bruins’ logo on his chest.
But beyond the potential public relations nightmare that could be stirred up by a move to Boston, Chicago might be more willing to part ways with multiple pieces to acquire Alfredsson.
There already aren’t enough roster spots for the Hawks’ prospects in Rockford, and there will be more youngsters fighting for ice time in the fall; moving a few players the Hawks’ front office doesn’t see matriculating all the way to the United Center would make sense as the organization prepares for Phillip Danault, Mark McNeill and perhaps Garret Ross and Teuvo Teravainen to become IceHogs.
Have the Blackhawks talked to Ottawa about Alfredsson? We don’t know… but they should.