This is my favorite time of the hockey season. For whatever reason, the trade deadline frenzy has always excited me as a hockey fan. I remember, back in the day, I'd be in front of two computers, tuned in to Canadian radio, and parked in front of the TV for hours, just waiting to hear where Jeff Taffe would be traded this season.
The salary cap era has slowed down trade deadline day, but not my excitement. While it's very likely the Hawks will just stand pat and do nothing (which would be a boring, but perfectly logical trade deadline approach), let's take a look at some of the names the Hawks are reportedly targeting.
Steve Ott - Buffalo Sabres Center - 5 goals, 13 assists, 63 PIMs, .559 faceoff percentage
Pros : Ott brings a lot of what the Hawks are lacking. He's extremely physical and grates on opponents. He also has offensive skill, so after he's pushed around your star player for 2.5 periods, he sticks the knife in more by scoring the go ahead goal. He's near the top of the league in faceoff percentage as well.
Cons : Takes dumb penalties and can be a cheap shot artist. He's not Raffi Torres, but he's not too far away at times. He also carries a $2.95 million cap hit through next season. With the cap going down $6 million next year, the Hawks would likely have to move a signed roster player to acquire Ott. That could be more than Stan Bowman is willing to give up.
Derek Roy - Dallas Stars Center - 4 goals , 18 assists, 4 pims, .468 faceoff percentage
Pros - When you talk about a second line center, Derek Roy might be the prototype. He's a playmaker and tireless worker. He makes his linemates better, and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Roy might be the one play I'd like to see land in Chicago the most.
Cons - He's not very big. His high motor style of play can wear him down from time to time. He's also sub-par in the faceoff category.
Mike Ribiero - Washington Capitals Center - 11 goals, 24 assists, 41 PIMs, .427 faceoff percentage
Pros - Ribiero is an electrifying offensive player. When he's engaged, he can be unstoppable. He'd fit in seamlessly on the Hawks second line and would help immediately.
Cons - He can disappear at times. His commitment has been questioned in the past. Ribiero insists he's looking to sign long term with the Capitals, and he might. He's also brutal in the faceoff circle. At 43%, he'd rank dead last among the Hawks four centers (Toews, Bolland, Shaw, Kruger).
Ryane Clowe - San Jose Sharks LW/RW - 0 goals, 11 assists, 79 PIMs
Pros - Clowe is a physical winger who can play on the left or right side. While he hasn't scored this season, he's scored around 20 goals most of his career. He's strong offensively in front of the net (usually). He's also an unrestricted free agent after this season, so he'd be a rental, and likely pretty reasonably acquired.
Cons - Zero goals? I mean, I know the Sharks suck this season, but you'd think one would have hit him in the ass and gone in by now. He also has two unnecessary "E"s in his name. It's Ryan Clow, pal. Lose the "E"s. Ryanee Cloweeewee.
Frans Nielson - New York Islanders - 3 goals, 15 assists, 10 PIMs, .452 faceoff percentage
Pros - Nielson is a solid, two way, playmaking center. His offensive production would jump with decent linemates.
Cons - He's brutal at the dot, and could be categorized as soft. He's also signed through the 2015-16 season, so trading for him would be a commitment rather than a rental. His salary ($2.75 million cap hit) is reasonable and manageable, but could be signed too long for Bowman's liking. Acquiring Nielson wouldn't exactly blow the doors off the fan base.
*If the Hawks acquire Nielson, he will likely be part of a package including defenseman Mark Streit
Mark Streit - New York Islanders - 5 goals, 12 assists, -14
Pros - Think of Streit as Johnny Oduya. They are very similar players. Oduya might be a notch better defensively, while Streit might have a slight offensive edge. It's be a solid acquisition that could likely be had for a pick or two. He'd be a solid asset and make the defense better, but he doesn't really fill a need.
Cons - Like I said, he's a little redundant. The Hawks have a number of offensive minded, smallish speed defensemen. The move would take Rozsival and Brookbank off the ice.
If the Hawks are going to acquire any of the bigger names on this list, it will likely take a roster player to get a deal done. I write last week that Viktor Stalberg could be a prime candidate to move. He's a 20 goal scorer who's getting better every game. He's an unrestricted free agent, and will likely walk after this season if he's traded or not. If the Hawks do add a top 9 forward, I'm not sure where he plays. There's a log jam, especially at right wing.
Another player I could see moving is Daniel Carcillo. I liked the signing when the Hawks made it, but it just hasn't worked out. The Hawks don't allow him to play with the reckless abandon that made him effective in Philly and Phoenix, and playing neutered has hurt the rest of his game. If you're going to sign the Tasmanian Devil, don't give him Xanax. It'd be best for all parties to move on at this point.
It's important to keep in mind this time of year that most trade rumors come from nothing. Observers look at teams who might be willing to deal, then they look at contenders with needs, and the put the pieces together. The Blackhawks especially play their hand very close to their vests. I struggle to remember a time the Hawks added a player, be it via free agency or trade, that was not made under the radar. Wednesday could be an eventful day for the Hawks, but remember...some time the best trade is the one you don't make.
Happy Easter, and thanks for reading.
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Filed under: Blackhawks, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Sports, Dan Carcillo, daniel carcillo, danny mac show, dave bolland, hockey, jay zawaski, johnny oduya, Marcus Kruger, michal rozsival, NHL, nhl trade deadline, nick leddy, Patrick Kane, patrick sharp, phoenix coyotes, raffi torres, San Jose Sharks, Sheldon Brookbank, stan bowman, wscr