What Did The Trade Deadline Teach Us About Kyle Davidson?
Kyle Davidson has now made six trades since becoming the general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks. Three of those deals came while he was wearing the interim tag; three have come in the past few days leading up to the NHL’s trade deadline.
For now, we’re going to ignore moving Malcolm Subban for nothing and flipping Chad Krys for Kurtis Gabriel; those aren’t headline deals that will impact the NHL roster any time soon/ever.
But the other four deals give us an idea of what Davidson is up to with his stated rebuild. And there’s a pattern we should pay attention to as we move forward.
Going back to the trade that sent Alex Nylander to Pittsburgh, Davidson has acquired three NHL forwards: Sam Lafferty, Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk. They all share something in common: size. It’s something the Blackhawks have lacked up front for years; many in the comments on this site have cried about the Hawks’ lack of big forwards for a while.
Lafferty (6-1, 195) has shown decent speed and grit since he got to Chicago. In 27 games with the Blackhawks, Lafferty has been credited with 55 hits and 18 blocked shots in 14:10 per game. After scoring six goals in 94 games over three seasons with the Pens (all six in 50 games in 2019-20), he has three goals already with the Hawks. He was originally a fourth-round pick in 2014.
Raddysh (6-3, 198) has been credited with seven hits and one blocked while averaging 15:17 per game. He also has one goal and one assist in two starts with Chicago. He was originally a second-round pick in 2016.
Katchouk (6-2, 206) has averaged 11:24 in his two starts with Chicago and has been credited with two hits. He was originally a second-round pick in 2016.
All three of these guys brings a more physical style to the Blackhawks’ forward group. We’ll see if they can score over time. And we’ll eventually see how the organization uses them in the lineup; two games is far too small a sample size for us to fully judge Raddysh or Katchouk. But it’s clear to see what Davidson values up front.
What about the rest of the assets Davidson has acquired?
Like the rest of the league, it appears the feeling the 2022 NHL Draft isn’t the deepest draft in recent memory. The Blackhawks trading their first-round pick to Columbus for Seth Jones (with top-two protection only) now appears to be an indication that Stan Bowman felt the same way Davidson and other current GMs do about the crop coming into the league this summer. Indeed, it doesn’t look nearly as bad that the Hawks moved out of the first round to get a top-pair defenseman now as it did when they made the trade (to some).
Davidson’s two deals on Monday position the Blackhawks well to make an impact in the future.
In the 2022 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks now have two picks in the second round and three in the third. There are conditions on Minnesota’s second and Edmonton’s third that could improve them; the Wild making the Western Conference Final and Fleury winning four games makes that a first and there are similar conditions on the pick Chicago got from the Oilers for Duncan Keith last summer.
The Blackhawks own eight picks in the 2022 draft, of which only three are originally theirs. We’re going to assume the Blackhawks don’t win the draft lottery and land in a top-two pick and their first-round selection goes to Columbus this year.
Chicago now owns Tampa’s first and second-round picks in 2023; they acquired the second-round pick in the trade with Tyler Johnson that sent Brent Seabrook’s LTIR cap space to Tampa last summer. The Blackhawks also still own their picks in those two rounds as well, giving Chicago nine picks in the 2023 Draft — which, again, is considered significantly deeper than this year’s draft class.
The Blackhawks also now own nine picks in the 2024 NHL Draft; they acquired Tampa’s first in the Brandon Hagel trade and Calgary’s fifth for Ryan Carpenter. Chicago does not own their fourth-round pick in ’24 (in the Hagel trade).
If you are sincere about rebuilding, the best way to do it is with draft capital. And now the Blackhawks have plenty of depth in upcoming drafts to either add players to the pipeline or maneuver their way up/down the draft to get the right players. They also now have picks they can utilize in trades if the right opportunity presents itself.
Then there’s the matter of the trades Davidson didn’t make.
The league was hot for defensemen at this trade deadline — especially guys who shoot left-handed. And the Blackhawks had a few bodies who could have been moved. Calvin de Haan, specifically, was a player most thought would be gone before the deadline. But he’s still here. Why?
"If the value’s not met, then you value the player more than anyone else. So, we’re happy with the players that are here. We value them more than other teams around the league … so we’re happy they’re still with the Blackhawks."— John Dietz (@johndietzdh) March 21, 2022
– Kyle Davidson when asked about Calvin de Haan
In saying he values the player more than the market would bear, Davidson is telling us he didn’t get a good offer for de Haan. But how good should the offer have needed to have been to move a veteran in the final year of his contract? The same can be said for Dominik Kubalik, who is an RFA this summer.
There are factors that play into both of those players still being here, and the perception that Davidson didn’t make a deal when he should have.
de Haan has had injury issues over the past few years and carries a cap hit that wasn’t going to easily be moved to a contender without the Blackhawks retaining money. Chicago already retained money on Fleury and has other dead money on their books, not to mention the money going to players who have been or currently are on LTIR. There may not have been an appetite from ownership to retain more money, and other teams may not have been willing to make a deal for de Haan without that being part of the trade.
Kubalik is completely lost, and a qualifying offer for him will be north of $4 million this summer. He isn’t worth that money right now, despite what some will say about his 30-goal rookie season still being on his resume. So while the potential to retain some rights on the player could have been enticing, the reality is most GMs saw what Blackhawks fans have this year: a forward who is rarely engaged and hasn’t shown the same spark that made him a Calder finalist.
Davidson wants this team to be relatively competitive the rest of the way this season and wasn’t going to eat money for the sake of a pick or prospect that isn’t going to help the organization.
Overall, Davidson did solid work before the deadline. The future is brighter today than it was on Friday, even with the Hagel deal hurting fans and his former teammates similarly. And the point is: Davidson cares more about the future than the present. And for a rebuilding general manager, that should be his focus.
45 thoughts on “What Did The Trade Deadline Teach Us About Kyle Davidson?”
if there was a deal to be made for a draft pick for de haan it should have been made. they will not be resigning him. any pick is better than nothing even if the hawks would have had to retain salary. now they have all of the salary left and nothing to show for de haan after this year.
i have no problem signing strome and/or kubalik for one year, but i want to see a whole year of strome playing as he has the last couple of months before signing him to a multi year deal.
One thing seems certain and that is at least 2 G.Ms didn’t appreciate our new G.M leaking details of proposed trades. It seemed out of the norm and unprofessional to me also. Sorry but Kubalik and Dehaan should have been moved for bags of pucks or lane cones. It’s early but remember this guy has been around the inner workings of the front office for a long time and should know the unwritten rules along with how to move unwanted and under performing obstacles off of your roster.
Getting the Fleury deal done was more important than sweating the small stuff about Dehaan.
The days of hurry and get it done are over, letting these guys finish the year in RFD., with Soderblom carrying the load in net, Mitchell’s leadership as their top dman, Reichel being the go to guy and the stretch run/ playoff push for the rest down there is really just being patient with development. A good thing and something we all complained about. That also requires bodies on Nhl roster so weighing losing that into the equation or replacing them quite likely played into everything.
Kubalik likely gets a 4m qo on a 1 year show me deal, hoping for a bounce back and a worthwhile return at tdl next year. Dach maybe similar to deal Strome is on 2 years 5 to 6m. Strome could get a 2 or 3 year deal as well to play a role next couple of years. Going to be a frustating few years for sure.
Hawks 29 good thoughts a prove it contract no more than 1.3 years dach if he wants more to bad move him as well he’s shown nothing does like to hit people and use his size to advantage only one year for kublick
The Hawks can really only retain on two swaps right now. They did it on Fleury; doing it again to move De Haan, Kubalik, etc (and for a minimal return) would severely limit them at the draft and before free agency resets the retained contracts issue. Nice non-moves, imo.
There is some value in letting the rest of the GMs know you won’t be fleeced. If you tell them, “I will let him walk for nothing before I let you insult me,” that has value in the future. If you tell someone you will walk away, you have to be prepared to do it. Davidson did it. This is significant with a new GM. We all would have liked to see CDH gone, but you have to stand by principles. Kubi, Strome and Lank will be very interesting contract decisions. Kubalik was not used to maximize his strengths. How many times did we see him blasting from the circle? Very few. He used to score a lot like that. Some have said the other teams figured that move out, but they never figured it out with Ovechkin, Stamkos and DeBrincat on the PP, so that is not valid.
As far as sizing up, that appears necessary. When you’ve got these small forwards matched up against players like Tampa has, it hardly seems fair. Good for Davidson.
The viewing for the rest of the year will mostly be around watching Katchouk, Raddysh, Strome, Reichel and Lankinen to see what the Hawks have. If Kubi catches fire, then maybe things get interesting with him. The Hawks must cut the playing time of Jones and Kane. There is no reason to subject them to more minutes.
This was a good analysis, Tab. We like it when you put something out other than a game summary.
I don’t believe anyone can say with a straight face how deep this draft class is. Covid did the job of killing all the scouting for this class, so whether it is deep or not is pure conjuncture.
Also in one sentence you say the 2022 class isn’t deep yet further into it you brag about having 8 picks of which KD got one,
As for not trading CDH because he didn’t get what he thought was value is a bit concerning, but it is
what it is. What might be worse id that he wasn’t going to trade Hagel until he got overwhelmed by
what Tampa offered.
Me thinks, he’s trying so hard to be the anti-Stan by a step too far
Nice article. I don’t see Kubi getting $4m anywhere. Maybe we can sign him to a cheaper 2 year deal which gives him more value as a trade chip. This is what Boston just did for Debrusk – gives the potential acquirer contract certainty. My concern with Kubi is that he has poor hands. He constantly fumbles passes and is unable to get a high quality shot off.
Pretty good analysis. Now comes the hard part, selecting the right players with these picks.
Good idea HW. Tell Kubalik we can give him a $3mil x 2yrs. The gamble is someone might go higher. Doubtful but maybe. All he needs is a good set up man. No one better than Kaner, ask The Cat. Pad his stats now and if someone likes what they see we get a pick.
Let’s have these lines:
Old Otters line: DCat Strome Raddysh
Old men line: Kane Toews Kubalik
Tall line: Katchouk Entwistle Dach
Fast line: Lafferty Borgstrom Kurashev
@ROBS spot on, negotiating 101. If you don’t like the deal, walk.
If keeping deHaan helps the Hawks NOT get a top two pick this year, then I am glad Davidson held out for more. I don’t think there is value in a new GM NOT letting the league take advantage of him and his lack of leverage in certain players.
As far as tradable assets, the league seems to have spoken regarding Kubalik and Strome. Hawks can’t get value for either, so bringing either back with the idea that they can be used as trade bait for next season seems excessively optimistic. Hard pass on Kubalik returning, I would consider Strome coming back under the right circumstance.
The biggest reason to keep Strome is insurance against Reichel not being physically ready to play top six minutes and/or Dach not taking the next step. If the Hawks can get him to return for close to his qualifying offer, that is good value for the insurance he brings. I put the cut off at 4 mil per for one or two years.
The lessor reason to bring Strome back is to entice Kane to consider staying through a rebuild. Bringing Strome back could go a long way in convincing Kane that chasing Makita’s points record is feasible.
Kane chasing Makita could be a way to keep fans engaged through the tank/rebuilding process. But does Kane want forgo the chance for a fourth+ Cup more than he wants to end up as the greatest Blackhawk ever? If he does, finding a way to bring Strome back, may make that choice easier for him.
I wonder if the Hawks even want Kane to be the greatest Blackhawk of all time? Maybe having him supplant a tarnished Hull is as close as they want him to get…
I didn’t want to move Hagel but I understand the thinking. My hope would have been that in return we get back a top 15 first-rounder and a high level prospect. Instead we got some value but with a lower probability of translating to high level players which is what we need more than anything (Decat is our only top end player under 30 and, with Dach’s development in question, Reichel is really our only high end prospect). It’s early still and maybe at some point KD can package some our assets to get higher picks. To me that remains the challenge.
I think there are 19 games left. It would be nice to see our young defenders get some minutes with the big club (without burning years off their deals). Perhaps we could have Vlasic and Regula on the club (and playing REAL minutes) for 6 to 8 games and then do the same with Kalynuk and Mitchell. As someone else posted we don’t need Jones Sr. to play half the game nor do we need CDH to play much. JMHO.
@ROBS, like your thoughts, agree with your take on GM’s being “taken advantage.” Also agree that Kane and Jones could play a little less as well, though it’s hard not to play your best players the most…
@Tab, really liked your analysis on what Davidson values. I just hope that he finds a way to address team speed in addition to size.
Everyone should know that draft choices are like rolling the dice ! Sometimes the players don’t materialize with goals and assists ! Often it’s years before they play with the big club and sometimes those players that are drafted in the 4 th or 6th round turn out to be great ! Just look at Larmer or Keith or Seabrook ! It also depends on how they fit in with the rest of the players ! Too many times I see the fans spouting off about what the G.M. or the Coach does not do and I just ask have any of these people ever played or coached or managed Hockey ! Coming from Canada I’m quite often surprised by the number of people that write really have no idea or clue what is going on ! Some of these kids in Canada have already played 300 games in Junior in The O or the W or the Q ! Only a few that are drafted will have a chance at playing in The NHL , the greatest Hockey League in the world ! Best, POPS 4
KD is off to a good start trading for picks and bulking up the team. Now comes making good draft picks and developing NHL players. My concern is that Norm Maciver is back with the organization and as the experienced member of the management team he will have large influence on player selection and development. Norm was in the organization and was Stanley’s assistant GM as the Hawks used high draft picks to selected all those defense men that did not pan out. The Hawks have not hit on a pick since 2016 but to be fair the verdict is still out on Dach and Reichel but their is reason for concern.
It’s going to be awhile before the Hawks become relevant
have some news for you pops. coming from canada gives you a zero edge in terms of understanding any more about hockey than do us plebians who hail from the us of a. the information in your last post is pretty much common knowledge to any experienced sports fan. knowledge that applies to most sports, not just hockey, and drafted players. not something you gleaned on a midnight skate in the northern reaches of canada. “everyone should know that draft choices are like rolling the dice ….. only a few that are drafted will have the chance at playing in the nhl.” deep thoughts pops. deep thoughts.
I usually enjoy committed Indians articles, but I lost faith in this piece once it tried to hype up the Lafferty trade. I like Davidson so far, but this puff piece is a bit over the top. It seemed less like analysis and more like the hype piece it became.
1. Get picks
2. Make good picks!
When the 2010’s dynasty was built we picked a LOT. Everybody misses on most picks but we had the following (# picks/#hits)
2002- 9/3 (Keith, Wiz, Burish)
2003-10/3 (Seabs, Crow, Big Buff)
2004-17/4 (Bolly, Bicks, Dowell, Brouwer)
2006- 9/1 (Toews)
2007- 7/1 (Kaner)
But before that we had 13 in 2001 and hit on 2 whonwe traded away…Anderson and Ruth.
Sorry Dave but I do think Lafferty was a good trade. You got a usable piece for a non usable.
Hawks29 I believe Pops is talking about the States of let’s say California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi Florida etc etc. Southern states. Couldn’t be talking about the Northern states.
Espo Seabrook 14th overall and Barker 3rd overall in back to back drafts, were drafted as the future top pairing. Keith at 54th 2nd rd and Hammer 108th 4th bookended them in drafts and were not drafted as a no.1 Dman future hof cornerstone in Keith or a solid top 4, top pair talent that Hammer was but thats the kind drafting and developing that needs to pan out. Lotto picks can put a very good team on the ice, but you a whole lot more to put a great team on the ice.
get your point about lafferty, but i try to look at the team as a sum of it’s parts. all of the twenty who dress are important. if lafferty is bringing a little better play to the fourth line than the player he supplanted then that improves the overall team. obviously not the difference maker a first liner would make, but still improving the all around product. the hawks third and fourth lines during the cup winning years were very important in the success of the hawks and more nights than not gave the hawks a substantial advantage over their opponents. so, no, bringing in lafferty wasn’t quite the big move the trade for patrick sharp was, but still a useful player.
Hawks29: Too funny in your response to POPS. Real deep.
Not that we needed him or he would have made a difference. Probably could have been here for 2 or 3 years then flip him at a TDL for more.
Evander Kane at a point per game.
Who has 19 goals and 52 assists
Who has 16 goals and 56 assists?
P Kane and A Panarin
See what an extra million gets you. An extra point.
Disappointed CDH didn’t move but if there was little to no market I understand KD’s reluctance to take just anything
I agree there is value (more than a 7th round pick say) in establishing your GM reputation as not giving in and with the Hagel and Fleury trades KD does seem to be earning that reputation- not trading CDH for peanuts is part of that – it should pay off in future deals
Also KD clearly wants RKF players to stay together and have a good playoff run – with CDH still here there are 7 D on the roster including Murphy – Vlasic will likely join RKF once Murph is back and all the young D will play and compete together
Again upsetting this plan for a bag of pucks in a CDH trade was not worth it in KD’s mind
If those were the factors I get it but I am surprised there wasn’t a bit more of a market for CDH – c’est la vie
@Hawks29 – c’mon, the guy is from Canada, or did he forget to mention that? Hilarious post – thank you!! We’re all hockey dummies down here, especially those of us in the great state of Texas. Nothing but steers and queers down here, and I don’t see any horns or ice skates on me! :-)
Getting back to hockey, I prefer Lafferty to Nylander! At least, he’s not a Nylander! I am over Kubalik! He just needs a change of scenery. It will never work out for him here if he has to play with Dach and be coached by the Clown King.
I just want to see the Katchouk kid play on a scoring line! He had great AHL numbers, so let’s see if he can score with Towes and Raddysh as his linemates. Kubalik has shown that he cannot score this year, for whatever reason. He needs to play on the 4th line or eat popcorn in the pressbox!
Tommy Ivan spot on let kubilik walk he not worth3.7 if one of the 2 players sent us works out win win send king packing be hard on toews play lanks and sod guess we don’t want to burn a year on soderblom now is to access players and make determination should have been done years ago get bigger at least kd figured it out give dach 1.3 for 3 years if he doesn’t like it make him sit out the year he sure doesn’t deserve more he hasn’t showed anything doesn’t even keep his stick on the ice like rest of hawks no physically plays when he feels like it just like captain serious he taught the team how to loaf your thoughts
I would love to see someone have the cahones on the Blackhawks to only offer Dach $1.3/3 years. More than that, I would love to see the Hawks brass not budge and see Dach’s fat-ass sit out the whole year. He’s worthless, while the two guys that I loved in that draft, Boldy and Zegras are going to be stars! Effing Stan!!
Kubalik is just done with us. Now I understand why the Kings gave up on him. We should have done him and us a favor and traded him at the TDL for whatever offer. He’s the kind of player that will drive you nuts. All the talent in the world, but he’s got something in his head that won’t let him get past whatever slight he feels has been dealt.
I wonder how Toews felt when Raddysh made that terrific pass to him to score. I wonder if he was missing Hagel at that point. Raddysh is a good player, very good and in fact may be better than Hagel in his own right. Every hockey expert, Pops4 from Canada too, says that this is a great trade for the Hawks. Now, we all loved Hagel and his grit and scoring ability, but we were able to pick up 4 parts. I think Toews should stop talking trades and start leading, or ask for a trade and he can take his talents and his $10.5M cap hit to South Beach!
I like Soderblom! I like Vlasic! I like Raddysh! I like Kotschouk! I like Regula! I like Phillips! I like Reichel! I like Slavin! I like Entwhistle! I like the Jonas Bros, Jones! DCat, Kane, and Strome too!
Tommy, If you’re not busy can you take over as Team President? I am fully aligned with your Dach and Toews thoughts. Well said. You stretched a little bit including Strome in your enthusiasm but what the heck let’s see if he gets consistent jump in his game now that 2 of his buddies are here.
Hahaha…Thanks Tim! I would at least be able to draft talent! Let’s give the “intern” a chance. I will. He did well in the Tampa trade, and hopefully MAF does well and he makes out well with the Wild trade too.
Saying Kubalik and Strome both may be let walk as ufas, definitely a cost saving move.
Tommy I– I 2nd the Team Pres. Bid… as long as you allow be in scouting Dept.
Raddysh- agree- he could be as good or better than Hagel- albeit different type/roll player… I think Hagel can be effective on all lines- and can create his own “Luck” -like a Frolik…
Raddysh- needs to play w/ better players- but probably has more Dynamic- noticeable skills.0
Hagel’s best skills- IQ/ leading to being in the right places before most- and his motor.
Reichel has that same IQ/ reading instinct + plus some really good hands
@Mr. Blutarsky and Mr. Tim W
You two are my first hires! I don’t know how well we would do in building the team, but we would drink all the free Wirtz booze that we could! Payback for making us live through Stan!
Uh oh…POPS has started a border war!
I can assure you that us Canadians have the utmost respect for our American neighbours hockey knowledge
Glad to see some forwards with size come in but nothing is telling me that they won’t be muckers that just bang and crash and score 10 goals. If they have been in the AHL for 5 years (even with TBs depth) , doubt they will be 1st liners, maybe 2nd…hopefully these draft picks in lower first round or second round will pan out to some skill players
Chuckie – I can suffer through losing Hagel if the return is 2 2nd liners and 2 first round picks.
There is nothing in their history to make me think that the kids we got from Tampa are stuck as 4th line muckers. Sounds like Walldog talk to me.
Lookit. I’ve been wrong before.
Silent Spot…you may very well be right (and hope you are)…I think it was a good risk based on what they got in return.
I have just become quite jaded on the Hawks and their ability to evaluate talent…maybe that is not fair to Davidson but unless he had zero say, he did work under Stan which concerns me
No issues with his TDL moves so willing to give him a shot
I want Hagel to succeed and do well as he works hard each and every shift. I watched his 1st 2 games with the Bolts and it looked to me like he was having a hard time keeping up with the Bolts and adjusting . I know he will come around but its going to be a tough road in that every game the Bolts play is World War 3. They are the type of team that fights alot and gets underneath of everyone,s skin. I suspect that Hagel will fast become a target given his size compared to their other forwards. He was elevated to the 2nd line with Braden Point and Ondrej Palat last night against the Canes.In 2 games he has 1 shot on goal and has not dented the score sheet.
Hey Tim – I didn’t watch the game last night, but I heard from my Tampa boys about the game and they are still upset about the trade. They both thought that it was a matter of time before Raddysh was going to be on their top 6, and the Kotschuk was 3rd line and coming fast. They do not like Hagel. I told them to be patient because once that kid figures it out, he will be a fan favorite just like he was in Chicago. So, let’s be happy with what we acquired. You are right though, the speed of play and the pace of the Lightning is something that Hagel has to get used to. I can’t wait for the game tonight!
Hey our mucker we got scored again. What do you know.
Like to see Havel come back when he is a ufa for free if fully healthy by then and that’s when we will need him/others not next couple yrs.
Load young wave.
Good to see 22 draft sucks/isint deep so bowman got a killer deal for Jones a top pair defensemen for one of our two. Need to work on getting the other/seabsyboy spot. Then donot forget about getting a hammer and hoss back here as well.
Bottom five gets us top 5 elites next few drafts 23 24 maybe 25 then we’re rolling. Load the young wave by getting as many lottery’s as we can in next few yrs. trade 88 19 on contract yrs have then come back in summer.