Deadline Aftermath: Hometown Boys Shipped Out
Mark Kelley is a pretty happy guy this morning. The VP, Amateur Scouting got a few more draft picks to play with in the next couple of drafts. Most notably an additional 1st round pick in June.
Here's the skinny on what happened yesterday as it relates to the Blackhawks:
IN: 2018 - 1st round pick (NAS), 2018 - 4th round pick (NAS), Victor Ejdsell, Conditional 2019 – 5th round pick (BOS)
OUT: Ryan Hartman, 2018 - 5th round pick, Tommy Wingels
Let's also not forget that Stan was able to get a 2018 – 3rd round pick from Washington for Michal Kempny, which after watching the returns on players is a damn good trade. I mean the great Ian Cole only brought back a 3rd round pick (+ prospect).
So, how did Stan do yesterday? I'm not going to give him a grade as I think those are very subjective and hard to gauge based on the day–after. The moves the Blackhawks made yesterday (+ Kempny move & + Duclair/Panik swap) were very much for the future as most included draft picks and young players.
However, I will say that after watching what the Sabres received for Evander Kane, I'm happy with the return he was able to get for Ryan Hartman.
Honestly, before the deadline kicked off, my prediction was that the Hawks would have made 3x trades yesterday – Bouma, Wingels and Franson.
It became evident when Bouma and Chris Stewart was waived the day before that there was no market for physical, bottom-6 veterans. Also, there wasn't as much movement for depth defencemen, so Franson remains in Rockford to help them push for the playoffs.
It wasn't the benching of Ryan Hartman (in what proved to be his last game ever as a Blackhawk) that made me believe that it was possible that the Hawks were shopping him; It was more that Hartman's name was popping up (1st reported by JJ) that "teams were interested".
I'm not in the dressing room or on the bench, so I cannot confirm that he and Quenneville didn't see eye-to-eye, however, looking at his frequent healthy scratches and ice time, you can't say #38 was his favourite.
The talking heads on TV yesterday were baffled on why the Hawks would trade a good, young player like Hartman. From the outside, they are not wrong to be confused. However, my take is there was some combination of the player being difficult at times, the fact that the Hawks didn't see him as a $2M/year player (approx. what he'll be getting on his contract this summer) and the position the Hawks are in (getting a 1st, 4th and a prospect is a good haul).
No sense to dwell on it even if "you don't get what management is doing" Jonathan. Hartman is gone and the Hawks move into full audition mode for next year with their young guys.
Victor Ejdsell, the Viking-looking dude they just grabbed in the Nashville deal will remain in Sweden but don't be surprised to see him over here in the AHL next year. I'm sure you've all watched his YouTubes by now and what you'll see is a big body who is creative and can skate fairly well. Looking forward to seeing if they look to keep him as a centre or as a winger.
Tommy Wingels was also shipped out in a good deal for the Hawks and for him. Getting a 5th rounder (probably turns into a 4th when Boston wins a round this spring) is good return, while Tommy gets to go on a run with a really good Bruins team.
I've mentioned it multiple times that I've heard Wingels is interested in re-signing here in the off-season and the Hawks are interested in entertaining that. He was a solid signing by Stan and a guy I would welcome back as a bottom-6 winger (who can play C when called upon).
Speaking of C's, Matthew Highmore has been rewarded with a recall to the big club. He will probably play on the wing to start, but he and his 21 AHL goals this year have the ability to play all forward positions.
Seguing to another young forward, Stan Bowman said Dylan Sikura is on the way. He mentioned that he's talked to his camp about what a contract would look like. This would be great news for the Hawks. I'm not in the "Sikura will save us all" mode, but he's a skilled young player that will cost the Hawks 925k this year and next year – why not?
The Hawks have 1 more spot available on their active roster and I expect that person to the John Hayden. It looks like he may play tomorrow night (IceHogs play the Stars) and then join the Hawks.
So, moving forward, I would love to see some chemistry build while some of these younger players get experience with the big club. For the upcoming game(s) I would like to see something close to this:
Saad-Toews-Hinostroza (#20 and #48 have been building chemistry)
Hayden-Schmaltz-Kane (just get #40 on #88s wing as his power forward and see if he can keep up)
Debrincat-Anisimov-Duclair (speed on the wings for #15. Just get #12 the puck)
Highmore-Kampf-Jurco (Rockford line played together played earlier in the year)
On D, I would get Forsling back up for the rest of the year and see if he and Murphy can gel as a potential shutdown pair. If not, that's fine, but on the backend, the Hawks desperately need a pair to toss out for every D-zone draw and don't tell me that's Dahlstrom and Seabrook.
Lastly, I want to thank all you reading and commenting. Yesterday we hit 750+ comments. There was some great discussion during the deadline. Let's keep it going.
See ya out there!