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15 Fake Trades to Improve Blackhawks Defence

June 11, 2019, 8:16 AM ET [467 Comments]
Tyler Cameron
Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT

Popping in here with an auxiliary blog this week. These 15 fake trade proposals are in response to my article on Monday, Blackhawks Looking into Ryan Murray + 15 Other Trade Targets.

The following trades are from those 15 other trade targets.

It's reported that Ryan Murray would cost just a combination of pick(s) and/or prospect(s). The Blue Jackets are in desperate need of draft picks after shipping them all out, so I'm using those are premium currency in this move. So let's do a practice trade to warm up:

CLB trades Ryan Murray to CHI for 2019 4th round pick, 2020 3rd round pick and Mikael Hakkarianen

Columbus gets a couple of picks and a centre prospect in Hakkarainen.

Before we get to the rest of the list, let's just chat about a couple of things; first, these are fake trades for FUN. I am not an NHL GM, I'm just playing one on this blog.

Second, I am trying to be realistic as possible with the team(s) the Hawks are trading with – and that includes fit and salary cap. Speaking of the salary cap, James Mirtle of The Athletic wrote a great article ranking every team in the NHL by their cap situation. I will be using this as a reference as a lot of the teams listed below are on the higher end of the cap and are in need of some relief.

Ok… let's do this:

BOS trades John Moore to CHI for Carl Dahlstrom
– according to Mirtle, he projects the Bruins to have just $1.5M in cap space after they fill out their roster. Moore would be a logical player to go and by swapping him for Dahlstrom, the Bruins save just under $2M.

BOS trades Matt Grzelcyk to CHI for Lucas Carlsson and 2019 4th round pick (BOS)
– sorry that might look confusing but yes, I'm trading Boston their 4th rounder back to them. The Bruins have just 5 picks this year so getting one back, along with a young, promising 2-way defender, along with $1.4M in cap space.

BUF trades rights to Jake McCabe for Dylan Sikura and rights to Gustav Forsling
– McCabe is a top 4, physical defenceman that the Hawks would love to be able to plug into their lineup. In return, Buffalo gets a top 9 forward in Dylan Sikura, as well as a 22-year old defenceman with 122 games in the NHL. Hawks then sign McCabe to a 4 year / $16M contract.

CAR trades Calvin De Haan and Saku Maenalanen to CHI for Brandon Saad
– If I can keep Saad, I will, but if an opportunity comes up to add an effective stay-at-home D in De Haan and an up-and-coming Finnish power forward in Maenalanen, I believe the Hawks would think about it. It's more likely that TVR, Faulk or Hamilton are moved out for forward help but wanted to add De Haan on here as he fits what the Hawks need.

EDM trades Oscar Klefbom and Sam Gagner (50% retained salary) to CHI for Erik Gustafsson and Dominik Kahun – Mirtle predicts that the Oilers will have $6.8M in cap space. You get the sense that Ken Holland will want to put his stamp on this team and the more $$ the better for him. This is a very unlikely trade and I don't really love it, but I do really like Klefbom as a player. The Hawks would bury Gagner in Rockford and he can act as a veteran leader there. Gustafsson might not love going back to Edmonton, however, he doesn't have a choice in this move. Plus, he'll get to play with McDavid and rack up another 60 points. Kahun has had success with Draisaitl so that's a nice fit the Oilers as well, all while they are saving $3.6M in cap space.

FLA trades Michael Matheson for Brandon Saad
– Matheson took a bit of a step back last year, but his talent is obvious. He's a big guy (6'2 / 193 lbs) that plays physical and he's a mobile guy. He's on the books for 7 more years at $4.87M so the Hawks would really need to believe in this player. They would really need to like him if they are giving up Brandon Saad for him. Coach Q will be happy with this move to be able to plug in the reliable 2-way force that is Saad. This might not look like a fair swap if it happened today, but in Matheson, the Hawks might have a top 4 defensive D who can play 22 minutes/game for the next 7 years.

NYI trade Thomas Hickey to CHI for Matthew Highmore and a 2019 4th round pick
– It wouldn't take much to take Hickey off the Islander's hands as he's become expendable with the emergence of others on Long Island. Is this enough to get it done? Sure. Looks good to me.

NJ trades Mirco Mueller to Chicago for rights to Gustav Forsling and John Hayden
– Mueller has had a hard time staying healthy and has already been dealt once since he was drafted in 2013. He's a former 1st round pick that might be just the reclamation project that catches Bowman's eye. In 53 games last year, Mueller averaged 18:04 and mostly in the d zone as he was deployed 60.6% of the time in front of his own net.

PHI trades Robert Hagg to CHI for rights to Brendan Perlini and Alexandre Fortin
– I like Hagg. I'm not sure he's a true top 4 but trading with Philly for a bubble top 4 defenceman HAS to work out right? (*looks around for Brandon Manning*). I have Perlini going the other way as I think he would be a nice addition to the bottom 6 in Philadelphia. Fortin was included as well but could easily be swapped out for a defensive prospect like Hillman or Carlsson.

PIT trades Olli Maatta to CHI for Carl Dahlstrom and 2019 4th round pick – I've heard on numerous occasions that there wasn't a lot of Maatta appetite around the NHL. A deal like this might get it done. The Hawks might have to add another prospect to the mix. The Pens need cap space and draft picks. This achieves both.

SJ trades Brenden Dillon to CHI for Connor Murphy – Dillon is a top 4 d that has been as healthy as they come in the last 4 years (76 games, 81, 81, 82). He plays that stay-at-home, physical game that the Hawks would love to add. The Hawks have shopped Murphy before and it's about to get real crowded on the right-side in Chicago. Moving 3 years of Murphy's contract for just 1 year of Dillon's gives the Hawks flexibility as well while not losing much in terms of skill and physical play. They are a wash in my books.

TOR trades Travis Dermott and Connor Brown to CHI for Henri Jokiharju and John Hayden – I don't see Dermott going but he was the closest fit to Ryan Murray on the Leafs that I could see. I wanted to include the Leafs as they are 30th overall in Mirtle's cap space rankings with -0.9. Yes, they are in the red. This move doesn't free up a ton of money ($1.3M) but it gets Toronto that right-handed defender they crave so much and a heck of a young player in Jokiharju. John Hayden adds some much-needed sandpaper (for just $750k) on their 4th line. The Hawks get a real nice player in Dermott as well as an upgrade over Hayden in their bottom 6 with Brown. A far fetched deal, but it gives us something to talk about at least.

VAN trades rights to Ben Hutton for rights to Dylan Sikura and Carl Dahlstrom
– Vancouver makes room for Quintin Hughes on the left-side and trade the rights to Hutton. The 26-year old has some size at 6'2 / 206 lbs but had a hideous -23 beside his name last year. Still, Hutton plays a lot (22+ mins/game) and blocks a lot of shots (102 in 69 games). Not sure what's going on in Vancouver in terms of needs; when you look at CapFriendly it looks like they have some decisions to make with 9 RFAs and 3 UFAs. They have money to be active as well.

VGK trades Brayden McNabb and Cody Eakin to CHI for Carl Dahlstrom, Nicolas Beaudin and rights to Dylan Sikura – I have to do the McNabb/Eakin trade, right? It's been discussed at length on the message boards around here and I've brought up Eakin many times. The Hawks get McNabb, a top 4 D on a slick $2.5M AAV for the next 3 years and Eakin, who can plug into their 3rd line, take key draws and chip in with 15-20 goals. The Hawks give up a lot in youth, but with Vegas putting themselves in cap hell, they will need younger, cheaper players. Assuming Sikura signs for approximately $1M per year, Vegas will be saving a $4.5M. According to Mirtle, they'll need every penny they can get back as he predicts them being $2.6M over the cap after their signings.

WIN trades Dmitry Kulikov to CHI for Graham Knott and 2020 5th round pick – If the Jets can give this guy away, they will. Now, that doesn't bode well for Chicago but it's a low-risk move as Kulikov only has 1-year remaining at $4.33M. He was best when he was in Florida playing 21+ minutes a game. He's got top 4 skills in the right situation but he's a real wild card and the Hawks would have to like him quite a bit if they're willing to help the Jets out in their salary cap nightmare.


I'm sure these will spark a lot of conversation (and probably anger). Just keep in mind, this is just for fun and debate all you want but I reserve the right to change my mind on these at a later date if it makes me look better.

Also, this entire blog could be all for not if the Blackhawks just draft Bowen Byram and he enters onto the scene as a top 4 d for the 2020-21 season. Then the search for a top pairing, 2-way LHD is over.


Game #7 kicks off tomorrow night…I'm pumped. Who you got?

See ya out there,
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