A closer look at Hawks' deadline moves
The trade deadline has come and passed for the 2014 season, and while the rest of the league was busy making blockbuster deals, the Hawks were quietly adding depth in a relatively low-key deadline. GM Stan Bowman has made similar moves like this in past few deadlines with minor acquisitions Michal Handzus last year and Johnny Oduya the year before, who, while not marquee names, were key role-players in the Hawk’s cup run last year. At this year’s deadline, the Hawks got four new players- Peter Regin, David Rundblad, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, and Mathieu Brisebois. Here’s a closer look at the newest members who will wear the Indian head:
Acquired from: the New York Islanders along with Bouchard for 2014 4th-round pick.
Stats: 22 G, 41 A for 63 points in 225 career NHL games over a 6 year span. This year, he’s gotten 3 G, 5 A for 8 points (1 G with the Hawks).
Where he fits: For the Hawks, Regin looks to be like what Handzus was a year ago- a center picked up at the deadline to help them fill the hole in the middle and add depth to an already stacked group of forwards. While he’s no Kane or Toews, Regin has already scored a goal for the Hawks since they acquired him, and can play some quality minutes while jumping around the third and second lines- think of him as a Kris Versteeg, but a center. Look for him to provide options for Quenneville’s line-shuffling as the Hawks finish the stretch before the playoffs.
Acquired from: the same trade that brought over Regin from the Islanders, with the Hawks sending a 4th round pick for the 2014 draft.
Stats: Bouchard had played 10 of his 11 seasons in the league with the Wild before going to the Islanders last year. He’s got 110 G and 246 A for a total of 356 points in 593 NHL games.
Where he fits: Bouchard is another example of a no-frills depth pickup at the deadline by Bowman. While he’s had quite a long NHL career, he’s currently with the Hawk’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford Icehogs, where he’s tearing up the scoresheet, with 11 points (1 G, 10 A) in 10 games with the team. The Hawks will be a hard roster to crack, but if injuries should provide an opening, it’s very possible that Bouchard will get some NHL action before the season is over. For now, he needs to be patient and continue to produce at the AHL level.
Acquired from: Phoenix Coyotes, with Mathieu Brisebois, for a 2nd round pick in this year’s draft.
Stats: A younger guy in the league, Rundblad has played 50 NHL games and has accumulated 1 G and 8 A in that time.
Where he fits: Rundblad is basically the replacement for Michael Kostka after he was picked up by the Lightning on waivers. The eighth defenseman for the Hawks, Rundblad will be likely in a rotating door with Michael Roszival and Sheldon Brookbank and will probably not see much NHL time. Again, this was a depth move, and Rundblad is capable to play 3rd-line minutes if injuries should surface, and if he can play well, who knows- he could create more playing time for himself.
Acquired from: Phoenix, in the same trade that brought Rundblad here, for a 2nd round 2014 pick.
Stats: Brisebois has played just 28 games in the AHL, recording 1 G and 3 A. He has yet to play for the Icehogs.
Where he fits: Brisebois is a prospect who’s immediate future is not in the NHL. There’s little to no chance he cracks the Hawks this year, but he can continue to develop and go into a system where he can grow and have a good chance to take advantage of any opportunities given to him in the next few years.
Bowman didn’t make a big splash in this year’s deadline- but he really didn’t need to. The holes from last year’s departures of Michael Frolik, Dave Bolland, and Viktor Stalberg have essentially been filled with players like, Kris Versteeg and Ben Smith, and Bowman’s position this year was very much the same as the position he was in last year: He likes the team that he sees on the ice, and they are experiencing success, sitting third in the league. He’s banking on team chemistry being more important than moving someone to bring in a big name that might not click, and instead brought in depth players to prepare the Hawks for a deep run. All in all, the Hawks had an understated but successful deadline- and now it’s up to them to show Bowman that he was right in letting the team stay together and defend the cup.