NHL Trade Talk: 5 Chicago Blackhawks Who May Be on the Express Line out of Town
The Chicago Blackhawks have started to tinker with their roster with the acquisition of Brendan Morrison Friday evening. We can expect general manager Stan Bowman to pursue additional deals up through the trade deadline.
This probably means a change of address for at least a couple of current 'Hawks.
Whether players are moved by trade or through the waiver process, there is a strong chance that a few are playing their last games in the "Indian Sweater." Here are some players who may not be a part of the landscape when the trading period ends.
5. Michael Frolik
Frolik has continued to skate hard in the face of an extremely frustrating offensive season. His effort in the defensive end may still be of use to the Blackhawks down the stretch. There's also the chance that he gets a few pucks in the net.
However, if Chicago adds another forward or two, the team may look to move him to create room in the lineup for some new pieces. His contract could also be used to balance out a deal.
I think Frolik is still contributing to this club, but doesn't mean he is justifying the $2.3 million cap hit. His numbers are even worse at about the same point of the season a year ago, when the Panthers dealt him to Chicago.
4. John Scott
If the 'Hawks pick up an additional defenseman, it doesn't make sense to keep nine skaters at that position.
No matter how you feel about the presence of the "Murdersaurus," it's hard to think he'll be around if upgrades are made on both sides of the puck. Scott hasn't dressed for nine games and his last few appearances have been of the single-digit variety.
One of the reserve defensemen will not be needed, and it could very well be Scott.
3. Sami Lepisto
Lepisto was brought in for defensive depth, and if Bowman bolsters his blue line, it would seem like the little-used Lepitsto would be primed to have his ticket punched.
John Scott could be kept around for his (gulp) versatility as a defenseman or forward along with his physical element. That, and whatever hold he has on management.
Lepisto could be a throw-in or waived and wind up in Rockford should no team bite. He's played just 5:22 over Chicago's last 20 games. In my opinion, Lepisto is one of the first to go.
2. Ben Smith
Smith is not currently part of the roster, but has been recalled four times this year and played in 13 games, two more than Sami Lepisto has appeared.
I just have a hunch here, but Smith could be moved as part of a package for a bigger impact type of player.
His Rockford numbers have been solid (12 goals, 11 assists in 25 games) and he's a heady player with leadership potential. It not hard to see him sweetening the pot in a deadline deal.
1. Bryan Bickell
Despite his disappointing performance in Chicago this season, Bickell carries with him the following:
1. He's playing for just over minimum money for this and next season.
2. He's big and capable of playing physical hockey.
3. He scored 17 goals last season.
In short, he's a bigger, cheaper, Canadian version of Michael Frolik.
For those reasons, some team will undoubtedly kick Bickell's tires. Someone will think a change of scenery will result in a more productive Bickell. I doubt that comes via waivers, as a dozen teams would pick him up based solely on potential and price.
His time in Chicago may be at an end, but Bowman will attempt to get some value for Bickell. I think he may be part of a trade in the coming weeks.
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