As this season has progressed, the Blackhawks have continued to be among the most popular teams in various trade rumors.
Patrick Sharp, Cam Barker and Brent Sopel have spent time as the more popular Hawks on the rumor mill. Right now, Kris Versteeg has ascended to the top of the popular list of wanted Blackhawks.
This weekend, Versteeg’s name was linked by a number of media outlets in a potential package that would acquire Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk. Monday’s Edmonton Journal features a story by Jim Matheson that claims there’s substance behind a rumor that the Colorado Avalanche will make a strong play for Steeger over the summer. Matheson reports that a package of young defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, currently playing at Boston University, and a second round draft pick could be enough for the Hawks to pull the trigger.
Shattenkirk was drafted 14th overall in 2007, the class that was led by the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane. is listed at 5’11” and 195 pounds and is considered an offensive-minded blue liner. Hockey’s Future rates him an 8.0, higher than any prospect in the Hawks’ organization, and rated him the number 27 overall prospect in the NHL before the season started (just ahead of current NHL rookie Evander Kane of the Atlanta Thrashers). He currently leads Boston U’s hockey team with 17 points (3 G, 14 A) in 17 games.
As this season progresses, there will undoubtedly be dozens of interesting trade rumors and proposals for some of the talented young Blackhawks as GM Stan Bowman looks to clear some of next season’s payroll to keep the Hawks under the salary cap. Versteeg in in the first year of a three-year deal that carries a $3 million cap number and, at only 23-years old, will certainly bring a lot of inquiries and rumors.