What are the Chicago Blackhawks’ Trade Targets?
TCL Staff on Tue, 2014-02-04 00:15
The upcoming Olympic break will give every team in the NHL a chance to pause, reflect, and evaluate what they need to do to improve in the future. More importantly, it will allow them to look at potential trade targets to finish off their season.
More than most, the defending Stanley Cup champions cannot relax and rest on their laurels; they have a brutal Western Conference to survive before they can even start thinking about a return to the post-season and a chance to defend their title.
Fans betting on NHL know the team have not been performing lately and look as though they need fresh blood and some fine-tuning, although it would make no sense for them to make wholesale changes to the team, something that is probably in the mind of GM Stan Bowman when it comes to assessing trade targets.
Bowman will not be looking for superstars, but he will try to find players who can give his team a lift and fit into the fabric and make-up of the Blackhawks. They probably have the most need for some depth on defence and centre positions, a requirement that gives them a number of options:
First up, the Winnipeg Jets center, Olli Jokinen, is in the final season of a two-year contract and, although the Jets have been in form of late, they will have to consider some trade moves at some point.
Jokinen is no longer in his pomp but he is still capable of playing well and would be a good addition for the Blackhawks in a position that they lack strength in. However, if Chicago are not going to take a look at Jokinen in the pivot position, then perhaps David Legwand at of the Predators might fit the bill, especially as he is coming to the end of a long contract; he would provide a good fit in a team like the Blackhawks that rely on a power game.
Depth on defence is another area that needs to be addressed for the Blackhawks; their front two pairings are among the best in the league and, for that reason, we could see them looking at someone like the New Jersey Devils defenseman, Marek Zidlicky, to bolster that area of the roster. He will not be a long-term answer but he is someone who could come in and do a job for the rest of this season, at least.
One player who is sure to draw interest around the league is Andrew McDonald of the New York Islanders. It’s by no means a definite that the Islanders would be willing to trade him - after all, the latest NHL betting suggests that they could still put themselves in contention for the post-season. If they did though, McDonald would be an upgrade on much of what the Blackhawks have currently.
One – or all – of those players could be useful in Chicago and might just give the team the little lift and impetus that they need now.