All roads lead to trading Stalberg

All roads lead to trading Stalberg

With the NHL's April 3rd trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Blackhawks are rumored to be in on a number of players.

A second line center is the number one need.  Also, when Jarome Iginla lists you as one of the teams he's be willing to accept a trade to, you have to kick the tires.

If the Blackhawks do add a top six forward, center or wing, they have a log jam up front.

Let's take a look at potential lines after a trade (assuming health):

Saad-Toews-Hossa

Sharp-New Center-Kane

Bickell-Bolland-Shaw

Carcillo/Bollig-Kruger-Frolik/Stalberg

OR

Saad-Toews-Hossa

Sharp-Bolland-Kane

Bickell-Shaw-Iginla/other winger

Carcillo/Bollig-Kruger-Frolik/Stalberg

Either way, Viktor Stalberg ends up on the 4th line.  Sure, that gives the Hawks four lines with legit scoring prowess, but Stalberg is an offensive forward.  Asking him to play a 4th line role destroys exactly what has made the Hawks so successful this season : guys playing in their proper roles.

Stalberg is also due a contract at the end of this season.  If they don't move him, the Hawks would have to find a way to bring back Stalberg, Bryan Bickell and Nick Leddy, all while balancing a reduced salary cap next season.  The Hawks have to make a choice on one of those three.  Bickell will come cheap and Leddy is a key to the future. That makes Stalberg the odd man out.  Obviously, his pending free agency hurts his value to a potential suitor, but if a team identifies him as a guy they could trade for and sign long term, he could be the final piece of a bigger trade.

If he's not used as part of a big deal, the Hawks could deal him to a team deep at center or defense, but weak at wing.

There are a lot of possibilities in a potential deal.  Of course, this is all meaningless if Stan Bowman doesn't deal for a top six forward.

As much as I've loved watching "Dream Weaver" develop into a legit goal scorer, it just makes sense to move him in a deal.

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  • J,

    You think the hawks could trade Stalberg and a pick for Joe Thornton, considering the sharks appear to be "refreshing" their roster?

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