It’s Over: Who Should the Blackhawks To Sell?

Wednesday night’s loss to the New York Rangers was the final nail in the coffin for the 2019-20 Blackhawks season. They didn’t show up and got their butts kicked by a team that is also headed for the lottery.

To make matters worse, the Hawks front office continues to sit back and watch as teams around the league make their deals. Five defensemen have now been traded – none of them named Erik Gustafsson (or Olli Maatta or Connor Murphy). And Blackhawks fans should be worried about the news that broke during the third period of Wednesday night’s game that the Rangers had acquired a fourth goaltender.

If Stan Bowman waits too long, the market for his players will dry up.

And he shouldn’t have needed any more confirmation after the team tanked the road trip that it’s time to sell.

So who should the Blackhawks look to move at the deadline?

Robin Lehner

This is obvious. He checks two boxes many teams will look for: a good goaltender in a walk-year. The concerns now are that he’s looked very average in his last few starts. That undoubtedly has a lot to do with the quality of defensive play in front of him and the fact that, behind the scenes, he’s been trying to figure out if his future is in Chicago or elsewhere. At this point, if the Blackhawks haven’t been able to sign him it’s time to move him. Do right by the player and let him chase a postseason berth/championship somewhere else and get the best return possible for him.

Erik Gustafsson

Yes, he has significant issues on the defensive end of the ice. And it’s hard to sell a defenseman who… doesn’t play defense well. But Gustafsson was a 60-point player last year and, like Lehner, is in a walk-year. He’s a cheap rental ($1.2M) with offensive upside. The fact that the Blackhawks have waited this long to trade him has likely diminished his trade value and limited the remaining market for a player of his skillset, but Gustafsson should be gone by the deadline.

David Kampf

Hear me out. Kampf, 25, is intriguing for teams for three reasons: he’s young, he’s good at the dot (51.8 percent) and he has one more year left on an affordable deal ($1M AAV). Teams looking for a quality fourth line center and help on the penalty kill should be excited at the prospect of getting a player like Kampf. At this point, Kampf isn’t going to help the Blackhawks; they still have Ryan Carpenter for next year and don’t need to continue running two fourth-line centers out there. Moving a center would give Jeremy Colliton the opportunity to commit to Kirby Dach as a center and move Dylan Strome back to the dot as well.

Slater Koekkoek

Koekkoek has looked better of late and, at 26, appears to have successfully proven that he can play in the NHL, But he’s a restricted free agent at the end of the year and the Blackhawks need to start clearing out the dead weight on the blue line for the next wave of the youth movement. At a $925k cap hit, Koekkoek is an affordable bottom pair option who could help a team down the stretch; the fact that he’s an RFA at the end of the year gives a team that would acquire him the prospect of keeping him at a reasonable amount beyond this season. This is a great opportunity for the Hawks to get a conditional pick back that improves if/when he re-signs with the acquiring team.

Dylan Sikura

The 24-year-old former college phenom continues to waste time in the AHL while the Blackhawks search for depth scoring at the NHL level. He has 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) in 36 games with the IceHogs this season but clearly the organization doesn’t see him as an NHL player. So move him. The kid deserves an opportunity to get an extended look at the NHL level and Chicago isn’t doing anything with him. Sikura has one more year left on his deal that has a $750k cap hit. If a team is looking for a forward option with limited financial risk but wants to get a player with term left on the deal, Sikura should have suitors. He could also be an option to package with Gustafsson or Lehner to get more value back.

Drake Cagguila

Cagguila has been a really nice player for the Blackhawks – especially since Andrew Shaw was lost to a concussion for most of the season. His trade value will benefit from him having skated with Jonathan Toews as much as he has, but Cagguila is a player who could have value in a bottom-six role for a playoff team. So why trade him? He’s an RFA this summer and, at a $1.5M cap hit, would be an affordable option for a team that needed some grit. He isn’t going to help the Blackhawks long-term so move move him. Like Koekkoek, the possibility to hang onto him as a RFA gives an acquiring team some potential to get more than a few weeks from him; it also opens the door for the Blackhawks to get better return for him.

55 thoughts on “It’s Over: Who Should the Blackhawks To Sell?

  1. Yes I agree, last night was the nail in the coffin. Would like to see the Hawks keep Lehner. Defense needs an overhaul. I was at the game last night and the whole team was so out of sync, see so much more than what is seen on TV. Defense was running around and chasing all night. Not good at all.

  2. Tab You have the same thoughts as me I don’t understand why the front office is sitting back and watching all these trades take place and we do nothing.

    The playoff spot was lost in the last Canadian Road trip.

    For the right return I think everybody is tradable on this team. That includes the front office.

  3. I wonder how much effort Stan Bowman is going to put into it at this point? That’s not a knock on him professionally. Who else is involved in making decisions if he is a lame duck GM? John McDonough? Trade whoever they can at this point and it doesn’t matter much. Get as many picks as possible as far as I’m concerned. I’m more interested in who will be managing and coaching the team next season.

  4. What a tire fire.

    I think Bowman is done. I hope Bowman is done. The issues with this team, I firmly believe, are not just structural but also coaching.

    The team keeps trying to be what it was with no vision of what it needs to be. If I could guess, this will be another year that Stan ‘stands pat’ because to do otherwise would be to admit his mistakes. Hopefully, his boss sees through this bullshit.

  5. Why not trade both goalies if Crawford gives up his NMC? Bring up the two kids in Rockford and see what happens.

  6. Looking back at the trades this summer, it is really hard to imagine since I liked some of the trades but Stan is 0 for 7

    Smith for AA (no value)
    Shaw for a bunch of draft picks.
    Nylander for Henri
    DeHaan for nobodies
    Maata for Kahun
    Quenneville for Hayden
    McCoshen for Saarela

    Talk about a bad year, his only saving grace was the trades during the season to get Kubs, Cagg, KK and Strome/Perlini (now REgula).

  7. I’m so pissed I can’t see straight right now.
    The smoke and mirrors crashed in a big way last night and Stan has done NOTHING to help maximize the very few assets we have.
    Blow the damn thing up already.
    Keep 19, 88, 77 and 27 (yes I know he had a horrible night last night but he’s a 19 year old defenseman).
    Everyone else is up for grabs.

    I’m done with McDonough.
    I’m done with Stan.
    I’m really, really done with Woody behind the bench.

  8. I would add Strome and Maata to the list.

    Just a thought of the top two liens next year

    1 Saad/Toews/Kubs
    2 Kane/Dach/Dccat
    3 Shaw/
    4 Carp/Highmore

    Go ahead and rip me a new one. I am good for that.

  9. Let’s wrap a little context around Hawks in 2020’s list

    Jokiharju for Nylander – Bowman has excessively built depth on the blue line over the past couple years and dealt from a perceived position of depth/strength to get something he didn’t have – a dynamic forward. The organization proved that Joki wasn’t going to make a dent on the NHL roster so they moved on from him. On the surface, I understood that deal at the time and still do. The part that sucks is Joki could have been an impact player on this team & Nylander is who Buffalo thought he was: talented but painfully inconsistent.

    de Haan – the injury sucks. He was good when he was healthy.

    Maatta for Kahun – the Hawks traded a 3rd line guy for a defenseman they needed. Is Maatta redundant if de Haan is healthy? Sure. But there were questions (apparently rightfully) about de Haan’s health. The Hawks’ blue line would be an even bigger mess w/out Maatta. And Kahun is enjoying success in a situation where he’s able to do what he does best – something we can’t guarantee he would have ever had here in Chicago.

    Quenneville for Hayden – change of scenery for both. Not sure why we’re crying about this one.

    The Perlini/Regula deal is fine. Perlini wasn’t doing anything here and, once the Hawks got Nylander there was no need for a couple formerly high picks underwhelming in a bottom-six role. Regula is a good young defenseman with size. I’m cool w/ that deal.

    The biggest WTF this year, for me, is the Saarela for McCoshen deal. Take everything I said to justify the Joki-Nylander deal and then consider the Blackhawks traded a dynamic forward for… an AHL depth defenseman. This is a damning trade.

  10. In 2015 Vermette cost us a first plus a (then) good prospect (Dahlbeck). Think of how much more value Lehner could potentially bring to the Avs than Vermette did to us. Sakic is saying he won’t give up top prospects but if he wants to make a real run a deal for Lehner is there. He just has to pay up. No pay, no play.

    I’ve seen enough of Strome. I’d take what we can get for him right now although soft, defensively unreliable players aren’t in much demand for the playoffs.

    Gus to LV is one rumor. Get it done.

  11. I am curious.Just how did the Chcago Blackhawks Organization “prove that Joki was not going to make a dent in the NHL”?Was it those 38 games that he appeared in?And I am also curious about this perceived depth strength!?If the organization thought they had depth at Defense they would not have traded for McCoshen.When is this porthole in time when Dehaan has been healthy.He came here off of 4 major shoulder surgeries and had #5 because he fell down.You have to work for Bowman in some capacity.

  12. Next thing I will read is that Strome is a NHL #2 Center and the Hawks should sign Lehner,oh wait,I did hear that somewhere here.

  13. Wake up,Kamph is not a #4 Center that anybody would trade for and Sikura is a throw in to a bigger trade at best.

  14. Tab,

    I on your side on this especially the Saarela trade,. DeHaan and Maata are the same but we can’t afford to have both. My point was Stan struck out on all trades so far. DeHaan and Shaw opefully recovers, Alex Nylander somehow taps into his talent, it would be nice to get rid of Smith and Maatta (duplicity if DeHaan is back).

    Now to through fuel on the fire, Panarin says he did not want to leave Chicago and does not understand why the Hawks traded him.

  15. This is the first time I have said this: If Stan and co did not communicate with Panarin than he deserves to be fired right now. No if, ands or buts, This would be worse than the Astros cheating in my mind.

  16. Tab, I can’t argue with the logic of anything you posted. I would be okay with moving all mentioned for meaningful return, or mediocre return if the organization is done with them.

    That’s hockey logic. That may or may not play into moves that have a chance to transpire.

    Comments made by Jokiharju stated that his leaving had to do with what the coach’s opinion was of him on the ice, as well as what kind of person the coach thought he was. I’m pretty sure those statements can be looked up. Colliton didn’t want him. Nylander has been the return and has had a looooooooong leash to say the least.

    Koekoek is clearly a Colliton favorite. He’s not a bad defenseman but I don’t see Colliton wanting to move him. I’d keep Olli over him. I don’t know that I see Colliton agreeing to it.

    Colliton may have some say in who stays and goes. Then again the whole front office seems like a big mystery as to what they want to do. I hope they don’t wait so long that all decent return is squandered.

  17. Tab;
    All you mention for players to be trader will only get you maybe 1 and only 1 second round pick. The Hawks are like a whore house and nobody wants sloppy seconds or broke down whores.
    Lehner might get you a 2nd rd but he is starting to crack. Never liked this signing, he is well overrated.
    Bowman is asking too much for return for his shitty players.
    Hate to say it i would rather have Bob Murray or Mike Smith again for GM.
    Only way JC is out is if Bowman is gone.

  18. For those of you going to church Sunday please do what I am going to do. Stand and make a trade Prayer request as well as a prayer request for a new think management team and coaching staff.

    As I have said on other sites bring in true Hockey people like every darn good organ eye zation has done to turn this ship around while there is still hope. Look at what Tampa has built Sans a championship yet but Stevie Y put together and left a team with all its stars signed and ready to win cups.

    Look at Pittsburgh Rutherford a Goalie when he played back in the Day they are always in contention.

    Joe Sackic with Colorado they are stacked and loaded with plenty of cap room savvy drafting and savvy trades.

    The list goes on I hope Rocky looks at these sites like Trump watches Fox News.

    I am done for now

  19. After the game last night somebody said Panarin might lead the rangers into the playoffs and that the teams rebirth is ahead of time, because Artemis that dynamic of a player . oh well at least we have Bowman God it was so much fun watching Bread and Kaner two generational players

  20. Tab keep writing great thought provoking articles hopefully all these thoughts buy all these passionate fans might stick in the minds of the management team on Madison.

    Remember the Roar should be the new recycled slogan and ditch the One Goal slogan unless the One Goal is to be in the top ten in the draft every year

  21. Maybe they should invite Bowman to watch Video of Panarin?
    To all those fans of Bowman, Panarin’s interview with the Daily herald about his loyality to tye Hawks, taking bridge contract to stay with the team and then being traded 6 months later, still confused why he is not playing alongside Kane, Coach Q storming out if the United center, Kane upset by the trade (oh by the way Bowman giving a ridiculous contract to Kruger, trading the HAMMER, and firing Kitchen, tells you all you need to know about the worse and most arrogant knuckle head GM in the league.

  22. Joki is gone because he had the audacity to question Coach Collitons knowledge of how a Defenseman should play as far as coverage and gap informing him that it conflicted with Qs coaching at the Nhl level.Colliton ran to Bowman telling him that Joki would not accept coaching and had a questionable work ethic.He was quickly moved.Hockey Night in Canada story from last year.

  23. I cant help but comment on the earlier comment on Vermette in 2015 costing too much . He had 3 game winning goals in that cup run.

  24. Lehner said he won’t talk contract with the Hawks so obviously he wants to test the waters and Carpenter sounds like he wants out too. The players aren’t happy how the hell do they think the fans feel. Get rid of the Mannequin they call a coach and his staff and move forward.

  25. “I cant help but comment on the earlier comment on Vermette in 2015 costing too much . He had 3 game winning goals in that cup run.”

    Excuse me? Where exactly did I say he cost too much? That’s right, I didn’t. I said he commanded a high price and suggested that Lehner should as well given he is a good goalie which is very valuable thing to have come playoff time. Maybe try upgrading your reading comprehension.

  26. Jordy think most everybody realized your intent was how much Lehner could bring.

    Makes you wonder if maybe off ice changes are afoot and Bowmans inactivity maybe result of being told not to do anything until new coach and gm assess the roster first. Still gotta think a couple of deals happen at least, maybe Gus, Goalie, even if that’s the case.

  27. those of you wondering why the hawks haven’t made a move yet just recall history. bowman shoots for unreasonable returns, waits too long to pull the trigger, and ends up with the type of return they got for sharp, leddy, and anisimov.

    personally i hope he doesn’t move lehner or gustafsson and loses both in free agency. if that degree of stupidity doesn’t get him fired then i am looking for a new team to follow.

  28. those of you wondering why the hawks haven’t made a move yet just recall history. bowman shoots for unreasonable returns, waits too long to pull the trigger, and ends up with the type of return they got for sharp, leddy, and anisimov.

    personally i hope he doesn’t move lehner or gustafsson and loses both in free agency. if that degree of stupidity doesn’t get him fired then i am looking for a new team to follow.

  29. In order:
    Seabrook
    Gus
    Crawford
    Saad
    Toews
    Strome
    David K
    Matt’s

    Sorry, but Toews isn’t the player he was. He has a big hit on Salary.

  30. By the time were deep again, Cup deep, in a couple yrs 19 88 caphits wont be 10.5 anymore. Theyll do team friendly caphits, maybe ‘not a chance’ Kaner, more like 5-8m seeing that we need to to load up roster when young wave is ready to take charge.

  31. DeBrincat is not who you think he is. I’d move him now but his new contract hit is way too much for what he delivers. Another bad contract. mark my words in this one.

  32. You guys are spot on with all these comments. Good stuff. We need changes, surely, but not the kind Stan Bowman makes. Those have been plain stupid. First out the door. Bowman, followed quickly by his boy-coach numbskull, Jeremy.

  33. Bryan:
    Q- who in the hell would touch 19?
    A – nobody. Not one team.

    Easy to say but totally dumb. Get rid of Stan.

  34. Hire Gerard Gallant as head coach. Hire a new GM. No more long term contracts. 3-4 years max on a contract. Don’t do stupid trades.

  35. I agree with Tab’s list except for David Kampf..granted, the offensive potential doesn’t seem to be much at all, but a good defensive center who is above 50 percent at the dot..and inexpensive..these are the types of players you need on a roster when you have Toews, Kane, and Seabrook soaking up a high percentage of the cap..the fact that he is redundant because Carpenter is here doesn’t bother me..if anything, I love the idea of having both on the fourth line..no matter who takes the draw, you have a chance to begin with the puck and turn the ice over..I know the Hawks have a lot of problems on their roster, but this is the first time in a decade that they’ve got some real options at center throughout the lineup(especially if they use their first rounder this year on another one)..they already traded Danault and they’ve been trying to find his replacement ever since..don’t trade inexpensive centers..

  36. You missed TWO: Colerton and Bowman!!! This is not a BAD team……. it is a team that has been coached badly!!!! JC & Bowman MUST GO!!!! They have lost the respect of the team and have no ability to motivate! Crawford should be given the bench for the rest of the year and but a real hockey player like Chelios on the bench with him!!! Both these guys would demand and get respect from players. It would give breath of fresh air to a stale lost season!!

  37. Hire a new GM and let him pick his own coach. I just don’t trust Stan trying to trade and acquire players in the off season. Let him go NOW!

  38. Any coaching staff that has Sheldon Brookbank on it is doomed. Who in the hell is he coaching? He barely played when he was here and not all that well either. Come on Rocky pull up the big boy pants and fire these clowns.

  39. This is beside the point, but Colliton is a very dour person. His post game pressers are depressing and humorless whether the Hawks win or lose. I doubt he is enjoying this at all. But then again, no one is enjoying this anymore.

  40. Maybe no moves have been made because no one wants any of the players the Hawks have. Everyone on this board can see how bad they are so you have to think professional scouts see the same thing. If Bowman gives a player away for nothing, then he’ll get ripped for doing so, but that’s exactly what’ll happen. Hawk players have a very low trade value right now (aside from a few obvious ones).

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