Blackhawks Trade Speculation: 3 Trades Chicago Should Make

With Chicago waiting to hear about the severity of Patrick Sharp’s wrist injury, the degree of trades necessary for the Hawks to stay on track for a postseason spot is up in the air.

But here are three trades that could change the fortunes of the Hawks this year and moving forward.

Deal #1: Hawks send Niklas Hjalmarsson ($3.500M), Bryan Bickell ($541,667) and a 2nd round pick to Anaheim for Francois Beauchemin ($3.800M).

Anaheim is ready for a fire sale, and the Hawks need to improve their blue line. We talked about Beauchemin fitting in Chicago last week, but it’s becoming painfully clear that the Hawks have three bottom-pair defenseman (Hjalmarsson, Montador, O’Donnell/Scott/Lepisto) skating on a nightly basis.

Neither team has cap concerns, but Anaheim is looking for control of younger players in any deal. Hjalmarsson is statistically similar to what they’ve been getting from Beauchemin, but he’s significantly younger (Hjalmarsson is 24; Beauchemin 31) and while Beauchemin is an unrestricted free agent this summer, Hjalmarsson is under contract for two more years after this. Pairing Hjalmarsson with Cam Fowler would be attractive for the Ducks, and adding an affordable big forward like Bickell would be a nice addition to the package. The pick would certainly be tempting for Murray as well.

Deal #2: Hawks send Michael Frolik ($2.333M) and prospects Brian Connelly and Philippe Paradis to Buffalo for Paul Gaustad ($2.300M).

For Buffalo, it’s about adding value without increasing cap exposure. Gaustad is an unrestricted free agent this summer, while Frolik is under control for two more years. The Sabres would get younger and add a defensively responsible forward who still has some offensive upside (in theory). The good thing for the Hawks is that Buffalo wouldn’t need to replace a lot of scoring because Gaustad isn’t a point-producer.

What Gaustad is, however, is a big, physical center who wins faceoffs and hits people. He’s a 14 minute-per-game guy, so he certainly isn’t fixing the hole at center on the second line, but we’ll get to that. He does play with a physical edge that this team desperately misses, though.

Deal #3: Hawks send Dave Bolland ($3.375M), Viktor Stalberg ($875k) and prospect Shawn Lalonde to Florida for Stephen Weiss ($3.100M) and a mid-round draft pick.

Parting ways with Bolland would be hard to stomach for many Hawks fans, but this deal would be dependant on the second deal getting done. Read that again: moving Bolland is not a consideration, even for a second line center, unless another center is ready to replace him (in this case, Gaustad).

Many fans, and many inside the organization, like the idea of Marcus Kruger eventually replacing Bolland as the team’s third line center, and Bolland has consistently failed when given the opportunity to step into a second line role.

And, in case you’ve forgotten, Dale Tallon (who loves Bolland and signed him to his current contract) is the GM in Florida. Bolland would be a fantastic defensive center for Tallon, and Stalberg is an inexpensive, young forward who is having a good offensive season. Lalonde is a good young prospect that Tallon drafted.

Weiss, meanwhile, is winning almost 54 percent of his faceoffs and has 33 points in 39 games this season. He has one year left on his current contract, matching Stalberg, while Bolland has two remaining.

There would obviously need to be subsequent moves to these trades to complete the roster. One would be to put Sami Lepisto on waivers (unless Buffalo wanted him because of their injury issues), and the other would be to fill the roster with players from Rockford where a forward had been traded out of town in one of these three deals.

Here is what the lineup would look like if these three trades went down:

  • Kane-Toews-Hayes
  • Hossa-Weiss-(Sharp)(Morin)
  • (Smith)-Gaustad-(Kruger/Shaw)
  • Brunette-Mayers-(Morin/Shaw/Kruger/Smith)
  • Keith-Seabrook
  • Beauchemin-Leddy
  • Montador-Olsen (O’Donnell)

What would we accomplish with these deals?

A legitimate center on the second line. Weiss is a scorer. The important part to remember about this move is that Weiss has only one year left on his deal, thereby not blocking Brandon Pirri, Kevin Hayes or any of the other young centers in the organization from having a potential roster spot in 2013-14.

Huge improvement in faceoffs. Right now the Blackhawks are, as a “team,” winning 52.3 percent of their faceoffs, which ranks third in the NHL. But that’s because Jonathan Toews is carrying the load at the dot, and Mayers is doing a great job as the fourth line center. Bolland is only winning 46.4 percent of his faceoffs. By bringing in Gaustad (56.3) and Weiss (53.9), the Hawks would have arguably the best group of faceoff-winning centers in the game. Then Toews wouldn’t have to take two of every three draws.

Dead weight: gone. Two more years of Hjalmarsson, Frolik and Bolland and one more year of Bickell is starting to sound unbearable. None of them is producing in the offensive zone, and the lapses from Hjalmarsson and Bickell have been too frequent to continue paying them to be here. Bickell has been replaced already by Jimmy Hayes, and Frolik could be replaced by a combination of Morin, Smith and Kruger. Olsen could jump into the mix on the blue line here as well. Next year, Brandon Saad and Pirri would join the list of potential NHL contributors.

Future cap flexibility and roster space. Not only would this cut an additional $1.45M off the cap for this year’s Hawks’ team in veteran movement, but Beauchemin and Gaustad would likely be gone after this year. Those two would be added to the list including potential free agents Brunette, Mayers and Carcillo in money coming off the books for the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks are better. Beauchemin is a legitimate penalty killing ace who is used to skating Keith-like minutes every night; Hjalmarsson hasn’t been able to get over 18-19 minutes consistently, and looks more like a fifth defenseman than a number three guy. Similarly, Gaustad is great on penalty killing duty and adds a physical element that Bolland doesn’t always bring. Adding those two players should improve the miserable penalty kill unit. Adding Weiss would bring in a power play ace and a legitimate second line center.

The problem the Blackhawks have right now is they don’t have enough guys to do the important things when the money’s on table. Toews is taking almost every faceoff in the third periods of close games, Keith and Seabrook are skating almost 10 minutes per period, and Leddy is skating over 22 minutes far too often. Adding a couple good faceoff guys would get Toews off the ice, and adding Beauchemin (and his 26 minutes/game) would help balance the ice time among the Hawks’ top four defensemen.

Are these deals the Hawks are considering? Not that we can confirm. But they’re certainly three deals that Stan Bowman could afford to make and should explore in the coming days.

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29 Responses to Blackhawks Trade Speculation: 3 Trades Chicago Should Make

  1. ross says:

    if they trade Bolland, which I am not worried about knowing how much Stan <3's #36, I will kill this city. NO. Proven playoff superhero.. shit.

  2. Brad Stevenson says:

    I like the guys you are targeting coming here, and most of the players you would move to get them…however, I think the simplest, fastest solution to our problems (not withstanding Sharp) would be keeping Hammer and Leddy and still adding Beauchemin to secure the defensive corp…you could pair Beauchemin with either guy, and the remaining DMan slides to the 3rd group with Montador solidifying that pairing…to obtain Beauchemin it would cost us 2 prospects that are ready, or close to being ready, and a pick…we can afford that.

    Then I think we use Bolland, Bickell and picks to obtain Stephan Weiss…you are right, he is the guy that this team is missing to finish the puzzle. Kruger (and Mayers for now), can assume the 3rd line role and we have our 2nd line centre. If we had to add one prospect to the mix to make this deal happen, it would be worth it…

    So the roster would look something like this:

    Stahlberg-Toews-Kane
    Hossa-Weiss-Sharp (Wow!)
    Frolik-Kruger-Hayes
    Brunette-Mayers-Shaw

    Seabrook-Keith
    Beauchemin-Hjarlmarsson
    Leddy-Montador

    Crawford-Emery

    That is a line up with the defensive skill, grit and scoring to win a cup…what we have currently is NOT…

  3. E says:

    We would miss Stalberg’s speed, and he continues to improve. However, these deals are reasonable for everyone, even sweet for the other organizations. But, we would fix our apparent issues, and Hayes and Shaw have both shown that they can step up in the NHL. Moves like these are definitely necessary.

  4. hawkey35 says:

    We’ll just have to see! You have both made some very good observations! I too would hate to see Bolland and Hammer leave, but if we’ll get some vaible return players, sh*t I’m all in!

  5. ozzzie19 says:

    I’ve been pining for Weiss in these comments for over a year, but I’d have to think with all the spit swapping the hawks and panthers have done, if we were able to get weiss, it would have already happened. Its not like the 2nd line center is a new hole and we haven’t talked to FLA before. Granted it could be that we were unwilling to give up a “core” player like bolland before, but its hard to imagine that anything has changed that would now make us willing to do so.

    Other names to throw out there:
    Roy is an alternative to Weiss as the 2C. They are pretty similar players and Buffalo is looking to move salary to make additions. Both signed through next year, Roy is 0.9M more expensive.

    Beauchemin is going to have a lot of suitors. Alternatives for a defense first, PK second pairing D men are Gleason, Hannan, and Gill.

    Until more teams start falling out, its going to be tough to make moves. At this point in the season you only really have 2 teams in the East and 3 teams in the West that out of it.

  6. Shane Chaves says:

    Getting rid of Bolland is an awful idea. He is a playoff performer & nearly the sole reason we almost took out Vancouver last year. He’s never been much of a regular season guy, but dishing him before the deadline would be suicide.

    How is Patrick Kane not in your trade ideology? Talk about a one sided, selfish player that is barely producing on the one side he is playing.

  7. I’d rather see Leddy traded instead of Hjalmarsson. Bolland adds alot to this team, would be bad to see him go too. Why not look at some goaltending.

  8. Anthony says:

    @Julie, Leddy has had a fantastic season up until the last few games. Sure he has hit a snag recently, but his potential as a puck-moving, offensive defenseman is truly scary. Hjalmarsson has taken somewhat of an odyssey away from the team ever since 2010, and if it came between the two of them, I would part with Hjalmarsson. Not even thinking twice about it.

  9. Bonehead says:

    Tab, great article! Your right on target. The lack of a true second line center is killing this team. Weiss would be a great add. Bolland only comes to play against the Sedins & by the way the Hawks lost that series. Fans need to look forward & stop thinking about the past, 2010 is over. Hammer is a third pair d-man & needs to move to that role or traded while he still has some value.

    All you Kane haters need to remember what is game is, he will never be a board guy or a physical presence but you will have a hard time replacing his vision & hands. Get him on a regular line & position & the scoring will be back.

  10. ivan says:

    Why would Tallon trade his number one center for a number three center a top six winger?
    Why would Tallon trade his number one center while his team marches toward the playoffs?

    Get real people.

  11. Glenn says:

    I’m with Ivan on this – I doubt Florida would trade Weiss unless they’re blown away with an offer and as much as Hawk fans love and appreciate Bolland, especially as a playoff performer, he is not a guy that would be able to step into Weiss’ role and produce the way Weiss does. I love Bolland but I would trade him in a second for Weiss but that’s because Weiss is a lot better than Bolland – which is why Tallon won’t do it.

  12. tim says:

    Like I said in the summer, Buffalo isn’t moving Gaustad. I would love to see him here too, but he Kaleta and McCormick are the only ones that have any physicality too them. Everyone wants them to get rid of Roy- who I wouldnt mind taking a chance on if the price were right.

  13. Bill Placzek says:

    Everyone of the trades are far too heavily weighted towards the other team.
    The type of trades that will be discussed will for picks and prospects cose to playing in the bigs or who appear to be solid investments as future pieces. I suggest you look at what the Ducks had to pay for FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN before you gut the current Hawk roster, and think Paul Gaustad over the reasonable Derek Roy 4 mil salary where you actually add a true top two line centre is where you might see Indy kids and picks sacrificed, not a guy who forgot to stand up for his goalie when Milan flew through him.
    Oh, yeah, things going good for Tallon and he them throws the train off the track because he may have an up & coming first line centre in his draftees?
    Think along the lines of Morin Smith Beach and even Hayes as the bait or even Saad, or Adam Clendening, a Buffalo native before you think Bowman is dumb enough to attempt a roster overall with a club current in the top quater of the standings at the hal season mark.
    and Leddy will be bait if a tru NHL top centre is a possibly available.
    Those trades are naive and downright silly!

  14. robinson says:

    keep bolland
    if we cant get weiss, go for roy, getlaz, neilson, etc.
    don’t trade hammer or monty until Olsen is ready for fulltime (next season)
    we need defenseman in addition to the 5 we have
    if we cant get beaucheman, go for gleason, clark, stuart, etc.

    Would like to resign the good defenseman we trade for and then trade monty and hammer later.

    keith-seabrook
    beaucheman-leddy
    hammer/monty/olsen

  15. Vince says:

    The problem with trading Hammer now is for next year who do we have to fill his spot. Monty I think is good onthe 3rd pair, but if Beaucheman doesn’t resign we will have a gaping hole on defence for next year.

  16. sean says:

    This might be one of the Dumbest posts ive seen in a while next to all you idiots that want kane traded. Here’s what we are lacking a 2nd line centere until kruger comes back if he comes back soon and you want to go high you need to go get bobby Ryan. You cannot trade bolland or hammer cuz no one you get out of these trades truly replaces them. Gausted come on the guy sucks except for 4th line duty.as for Weiss yeah he’s good but Florida us in the hunt so why would they trade him? We still need a 5/6th d-man I think gleason, bryan Allen, sarich, or tony lydman would do the trick without giving up the world for. Expect for the hawks to trade stalberg, frolik, bickell, pirri, moron, lalonde and connelly all to get moved if you want both a top 6 winger and dman

  17. Tab Bamford says:

    you’re not getting a top-six forward on this roster for the pieces you’re making available. Sorry.

  18. sean says:

    K if we throw in a first round pick or even a 2nd and 3rd? Morin stalberg lalonde pirri could get you Ryan. Guys like Allen and jurcina you won’t have to give much up for they are 5/6 d men not top 4 which is what they need

  19. wall says:

    The problem w/ most of these “trades” is that Hawk Nation is over rating the farm system here! AHL D men suck! (Olsen is it)… Pirri w/ 15 lbs. will be O.K. – Hayes, Shaw good. Morin doesn’t look the same Post-concussion.

    the real skill is in Canada and overseas- 2-3 years away! Saad, Danault, Nordstrom can skate!

    so really – unless we trade a 2011 pick or Hayes… I don’t see other teams biting… the Hawks will have to wait for teams to dump Free -agent types… and by then it might be too late!

  20. doug borthwick says:

    i,m 60 yo played hockey for 54 years and i would love to play against hawks defence. no hitting. duncan keith jumps around but won,t even slash a guy on a breakaway. hjalmarson has regressed. we need some guys to keep other teams aware.

  21. Bill Placzek says:

    Think Bryan Allen and Dominic Moore…top echelon teams don’t make dumb moves like these above….they add fill pieces and use the time from the draft to the middle of August to try and plan out major renovations.

    1. Editor, how long have you been a fan?
    2. Have you actually watched Gaustad skate or play?

  22. Travis says:

    stalberg has the potential to be one of the best bargain contracts in the league next year. he’s getting better, and his speed for his size is very rare. if he improves his puck protection and board battles (if his hands catch up to his feet), watch out.

    i’d look to shop him next year, because his value should shoot through the roof in the near future… especially if he keeps progressing at his current rate.

    good suggestions on people we need though. you’re right, we really need some more sandpaper in the lineup. i thought we addressed the physicality need in the offseason, but it seems we get outhit on a regular basis.

  23. jay deam says:

    Frolik and Bickell are contributing nothing but poor passes and penalty minutes. Get what you can for them. I could take or leave Hammer; he should not be difficult to replace. Bolland is finally hitting his potential with the new kids and he is a keeper. Stalberg is emerging as one of our better players and we should also keep him. Leddy is no Campbell but he is just a kid. This team is earmarked by impatient passing, inattentive give-aways and lack of heart. Adding a few patient, disciplined players who skate well and don’t just dump the puck in the corner or pass to the opposing team would be a good thing.

  24. db says:

    newkids shaw and hayes look like keepers. do we not have any d-men available that want to hit? when did all this 1 handed poke check come in. against sj crawford had to slash at guy whacking him as we stood and watched.sj protected their goalie which come playoff time will be huge. whats with kane and keith. not much drive there. can hjalmarson make a pass??41 yo d-man fights and shows drive. we aren,t that far ahead of #9 and 10th place teams for playoff spot.

  25. Jared says:

    none of these trades make any sense at all for several reasons….Frolik does the dirty things nobody else on this team is willing to do, his ability to keep plays alive is the reason why Hossa and others are having great offensive production. Every time there is a scrum in the playoffs look who is in the middle of it…Bolland….trading him would be an absolute disaster and this team would fall apart at it’s core….maybe just maybe there is a reason tallon signed him to a long deal. As a hawks fan you any trade involving frolik, bolland, or the hammer…. and you will be right back where you started. Here is an idea trade Kane…..dont laugh but when you watch him it’s obvious he has no work ethic…..Kane, pirri, lalonde and a 2nd rounder for Getzlaf and Beauchmin….and maybe up it a first and a 2nd for all that and bobby ryan. Or Parise for a top prospect and a 2nd rounder

  26. db says:

    well saturday showed it again. poor defence. poor physical play. 9 games coming up on road . we are 0-4 last 4. could be a make or break for playoffs. kane and keith could be dealt for a top forward and stud defenseman who can hit and clear front of net. hawks will not win cup with what they have right now. bolland is getting ready for playoffs you can see his drive. shaw and hayes are coming. hjalmarson panics with puck. keith plays 1 hand never clears net. these 2 put pressure on other d-men. don,t blow up team but need some adjustments.

  27. db says:

    0 and 5 on road 8 in a row to come. could make or break year. keiths give away in 3rd period . wow.

  28. db says:

    wow edmonton 2nd last team in nhl. 9-2 and 8-4 as wellas 4-3 at home. play by play announcer for tsn says edmonton likes playing chicago. no wonder a team with speed against a no hit defence. i believe hawks are now most scored upon team in conference and 3rd in all nhl. playoffs will fade fast if they make it.

  29. db says:

    wow last night was defense and goaltending like they are capable of. olsen on d was good for a rookie. young hayes up front awesome. kane looked like himself. look out when he busts out. i know scotts skating is questionable but he does position himself to clear out traffic in front and detroit has some big bodies. way to go.

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