Surprisingly, after back-to back offseason’s that saw the Hawks sign the two biggest free agents on the market (Brian Campbell and Marian Hossa), since then Chicago has become one of the NHL’s quietest teams. Following the Blackhawks winning the 2010 Stanley Cup, the team was forced to let go a number of significant players from their roster in Andrew Ladd, Kris Versteeg, Dustin Byfuglien, and Antti Niemi they had a number of big contracts on their books (Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Brian Campbell, Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, and Marian Hossa).
As a fan of this team, I completely understand why the Hawks decided to not make any key signings following the 2010 season, but following a tough 7 game first round series loss to Vancouver, Chicago decided to trade away one of the teams highest paid players (Brian Campbell), along with a number of other solid role players from the team that won the cup ((Troy Brower and Thomas Kopecky) and replaced them with older veterans (Andrew Brunette, Daniel Carcillo, Jamal Mayers, Steve Montador, and Sean O’Donnell). As for the 2012 offseason (which once again saw the Hawks bounced from the playoffs following another First Round exit), Chicago reportedly attempted to sign a number of big name players (Martin Brodeur, Zach Parise, and Ryan Suter) so they could add to their team. In the end, we now know the Blackhawks were unable able to sign one of these players as Brodeur resigned with New Jersey Devils while Parise and Suter signed with Conference rival Minnesota.
Like I said in the previous paragraph, I completely understood why the Hawks decided to not make any moves after they won the cup, however, the previous two offseason’s has see the Hawks not make any significant moves. I understand there weren’t a lot of significant free agents after the 2011 season, but that doesn’t mean the Hawks couldn’t still look to upgrade their “core” via a trade. Following the 2011 season, I was a bit surprised to see the Hawks not add any significant parts to their team; however, during this past offseason, I was shocked that Chicago (which saw them lose in the first round for the second straight year) decided to once again not make any significant additions to their roster. Since the Hawks were unable to sign Brodeur, Parise, and Suter this past offseason; below are players that I feel the Hawks should look into acquiring if they want to be considered a a legitimate contender for another Stanley Cup.
1) Ryan Getzlaf: I understand that to acquire a player like Ryan Getzlaf it would force the Hawks to give up a number of prospects in addition to resigning him to big contract (I’ll get to that soon). However, if the Blackhawks were able to pull this off, then this team would finally have the second line center that they’ve been missing since they won the cup. In 2011, Getzlaf had one of his worst statistical seasons but even with that he still has the capability of being one of the most productive players in the NHL and would give the Hawks four strong centers on their roster (Toews, Getzlaf, Marcus Kruger/Dave Bolland, and Mayers.
So is it realistic the Ducks would look to trade Ryan Getzlaf? Yes, for a few reasons. For one, Ryan Getzlaf is scheduled to become a unrestricted free agent following the 2013 season and the Ducks might look to acquire as much as they can in case he decides to leave Anaheim. Also, the Ducks are a team that’s looking to rebuild so trading Getzlaf would allow for them to start their rebuilding process in addition to acquiring a number of quality prospects and draft picks from the Hawks.
What’s the percentage Ryan Getzlaf gets traded to the Blackhawks before the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline: (45%) Because I feel the Blackhawks will finally realize they still missing a legitimate number two center on their roster, in the end the Hawks will realize they still need to upgrade the second line center, and Getzlaf would be the perfect player to fill this role.
2) Bobby Ryan: For some unknown reason, the Anaheim Ducks have decided to reportedly put star left winger Bobby Ryan on the Trade Block. Like Getzlaf, Ryan (the 2nd overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft) had an unimpressive 2011 season, but at 25 he still has a ton of talent in addition to being signed for three more season’s for a reasonable contract. The only reason I feel Anaheim decided to put Ryan on the trade block is that (like Getzlaf) Ryan would bring the Ducks a number of quality in return.
What’s the percentage Bobby Ryan gets traded to the Blackhawks before the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline: (25%) I do believe current Duck Bobby Ryan will be traded in the near future; however, because he’s a winger and not a true center (which the Hawks are looking for), I think Chicago will look elsewhere and pass on the American born winger.
3) Jarome Iginla: If the Blackhawks are unable to acquire a “traditional” number 2 center, then I feel this franchise should place a call to Calgary and look to acquire a proven goal scorer. Since entering the league in the 1996-97 season, Iginla’s has only played and known one organization (the Calgary Flames) so it’ll be difficult for both Iginla and the Flames to part ways.
What’s the percentage Jarome Iginla gets traded to the Blackhawks before the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline: (15%) If the question was “Do I feel Iginla will be traded before the trade deadline”, I’d put this at 70%, but because were just talking about just the Blackhawks, I feel Iginla will not be make the “Madhouse on Madison“ his home. So why do I feel Jarome Iginla will be traded before the 2013 trade deadline? Because Jarome Iginla is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2012-13 season and (simular to Getzlaf) the Flames will look to acquire a few key members before the end of his contract. Even though the Blackhawks would be a quality trade partner for the Flames (in addition to having a significant amount of cap space), I still feel the Hawks won’t be able to acquire him for two key reasons. The first reason I feel this trade won’t happen is because both the Hawks and Flames are in the same conference (Western) and I’m not sure Calgary wants to see the best player in their franchise’s history cost them a possible Playoff spot. As for the other reason, Chicago hasn’t made it to the second round of the playoffs since they won the cup in 2010 and I’m sure Jarome Iginla will want to be apart of a Franchise that’s hasn’t gone deep into the playoffs the past two years. With that said, I feel if the Hawks were able to acquire Jarome Iginla then they’d be considered one of (if not) the top team in the west.
Will the Hawks make a key trade prior to the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline: Yes. The main reason I feel they’ll make an additional trade is because the Hawks will realize they need to add an additional goal score if they want to go deep in the 2013 NHL playoffs.
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