The dust has settled on the 2023 trade deadline, and while deadline day itself was very underwhelming, the build-up, it might have been one of the more entertaining trade seasons in a while. The East has geared up for war while the West well, they are just hoping the East have three rounds of hell and are too beat up by the time the final comes around. Then you have our Chicago Blackhawks; while we all knew what was about to go down, it just still has a weird feeling lingering that an era is officially over. Kyle Davidsons 2nd deadline was going to be a big one with his rebuild in full force.
Patrick Kane, Max Domi, Jack Johnson, Jack McCabe, Sam Lafferty, Josiah Slavin Cooper Zech, Dylan Sigurd, Dylan Wells, 2024 5th Round Pick, 2025 5th Round Pick.
Nikita Zaitsev, Andreas Englund, Joey Anderson, Hunter Drew, Pavel Gogolev, Vili Saarijarvi, Andy Welinski, Anders Bjork, Maxim Golod, Anton Khudobin, Austion Wagner, 2023 2nd Round Pick (OTT), 2026 4th Round Pick (OTT), 2025 1st Round Pick (TML Top 10 protected), 2026 2nd Round Pick (TML), 2023 2nd Round Pick (NYR Could turn to a 1st), 2025 4th Round Pick (NYR), 2025 2nd Round Pick (DAL).
The biggest take away from KD deadline is draft capital. One of the biggest issues he faced when taking over the GM role was the limited amount of picks Bowman left this team to work with. KD made the moves last year at the draft to get some of those picks back and turn them in to some extremely exciting prospects for the future. The question then turned into what can he get back to really get this rebuild going in terms of the prospect pool. Well, to say he made it work would be a gross understatement as he has gotten this team 19 picks in the first 3 rounds over the next 3 drafts. I know a big complaint I have seen from fans is that a lot of the picks he added this year are for next year and the 2025 draft. To that I have to say, look at the bigger picture. Not only is it good to insure that you have a decent amount of picks going deeper into the rebuild, it also helps insure that you have extra leverage for future trades. Best example is last years draft when KD was able to get another 1st round pick by taking on the Mrazek contract for a 2nd rounder. It’ll be exciting to see what the plan is for all these picks going forward.
I know this has been beaten to death, but for me personally it still just doesn’t feel real. While I do believe moving him was the best option for this rebuild and whether or not the reports of the growing frustration between Kane and KD are true or not, it just doesn’t feel right that he isn’t going to end his career as a life-time Blackhawk. The return was less than what we had all hoped for; but at the end of the day it is better to get something than to let him walk for nothing. I am still extremely excited to see him play with Panarin once more and I think we are all Ranger fans at least until the conference finals so we get that 3rd first rounder.
Now I know the feelings on Max are mixed here, but after the Kane trade I was really hoping that he would be sticking around for the rest of the year and even signed to an extension. He was a player that wanted to be in Chicago despite the rebuild and he seemed to really enjoy his time here. Out of all the pending UFAs that got moved this year I think he is the most likely to come back and honestly, lets hope he does because this team is going to need a player like him to give them an identity.
Jake McCabe/Sam Lafferty
I will file this under hate to see you go trade. McCabe was out here having an amazing season putting up great defensive numbers despite getting stuck with Seth Jones and this team just being brutally bad. He showed a lot of heart and a lot of passion and you can not help but be happy for him that he is finally going to get a shot to play playoff hockey. Lafferty came to the Hawks in kind of a career limbo, not really finding his game at the NHL level. He saw his opportunity to make a name for himself and he absolutely ran with it. Who would have, though, that these two players could turn into a 1st and 2nd round pick. Now can they help break the Leafs first round curse?
As a fan, you expect the world when it comes to the return value of your players. You spend all your time watching these guys and know how good they could really be in the right situations and how other teams would be dumb to not give up anything for them. This was the case with Kane and I think this overall feeling of disappointment I feel about this deadline is because I just believed Kane was worth so much more. I think overall KD had a decent deadline. As I mentioned before, he got the picks he was looking for and I am interested to see what the game plan is with all those picks and overall the plan for this rebuild. I will say one thing he did right was make this a shell of a hockey team and give us the best chance to drop in the standings and really increase those odds to land the big prize in Connor Bedard. With just 21 games left in the season, the finish line is in sight, we are almost there, guys just hang in there a little bit longer.