The trading deadline is less than two weeks away, and GM Stan Bowman is on the clock.
With the pressure mounting thanks in part to this nine-game slide, all eyes are on Bowman to make a trade that will spark the Chicago Blackhawks back to their winning ways.
But what exactly can Bowman do that will kick the Blackhawks back into gear?
It's very reasonable to expect Bowman to make some sort of trade, small or big. It's just a matter of what's available right now, and, by the looks of it, there isn't much.
The Blackhawks are in need of a top-four defenseman and, if possible, a veteran goaltender. But neither of these trades will come cheap as both positions are in high demand.
Will Bowman be able to pull off a trade or will he keep the faith with the team that is currently on the ice?
These are potential deals that could happen before the February 27th trade deadline.
You hear that? That's the sound of a possible blockbuster trade in the works.
All this after Ryan Miller said that he would waive his no trade clause in order to be traded to Chicago.
But lets look at the possibility of a trade like this actually taking place.
Even though the Buffalo Sabres need offense and the Blackhawks need goaltending, are either of these teams willing to trade these players? In the long term, probably not.
Earlier in the week former Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick suggested that Patrick Kane is expendable for this Blackhawks team—especially with their need for a goaltender.
"Everybody knows I am a huge Patrick Kane fan, there's no question about that. But when you're talking something of this nature, is Patrick Kane, um, dealable? I'm gonna have to come out, as much as I don't want to say it, they can afford to get rid of Patrick Kane. They can afford to -- with the season he's having -- maybe with his off-ice reputation, maybe with the skill they have on their team, it's doable."
That only added fuel to the fire.
The deal also seems favorable for both players.
Patrick Kane's hometown is Buffalo, and how many professional players get to play in front of hometown fans? Ryan Miller would love a chance to win a Stanley Cup, and that only seems possible at the moment if he is traded to an elite team.
Whatever the case may be, this is definitely a rumor to keep an eye on for the next week.
Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman made it perfectly clear on Thursday that defenseman Pavel Kubina will be on the trading block.
The Blackhawks need a defenseman to help out on the back end. Cue to Bowman starting to work the phones.
The 34-year-old defenseman is a big and physical shut-down defenseman who can play on both the power play and penalty kill. He also holds a $3.85 million cap hit, which is a little undesirable, but he is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Kubina is not really an offensive player, but being that the Blackhawks' problem is goals against, he should fit right into the lineup.
This is a trade that could work. A few draft picks from the Chicago Blackhawks for Kubina might be a little too much for Bowman. But it would help fix the hole that has been evident in the Blackhawks' lineup as of late.
Will it solve all the Blackhawks woes down the road? No, but it will help for the time being.
Expect to hear more about the possibility of this trade as the trading deadline nears.
The Blackhawks are in need of either a defenseman or a goalie to stop the number of goals against them.
While Khabibulin got off to a hot start with the Oilers, he has steadily fallen back down to earth. The 39-year-old goaltender, if he could find his game again, might just be that needed spark that this Blackhawks' lineup is missing.
He knows the Blackhawks' system well, and he does have playoff experience.
Realistically, though, does this trade warrant the Blackhawks giving up a couple of draft picks or depth players for Khabibulin? If it helps, of course.
But isn't that the reason why the Blackhawks traded Khabibulin, because of his inconsistent play?
Time will tell, but realistically this trade could happen—though it may be a mistake.
Veteran defenseman Hal Gill has been popping up in Blackhawks trade rumors. It is said that Gill is being sought out by the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks.
With all those teams interested in the defenseman, the Blackhawks need to put up the best offer, possibly draft picks and a third-line defenseman. Even though this will be a short-term fix, it will be to the Blackhawks advantage to add some size on the back end.
At 250 lbs and 6'7', Gill could be that physical presence on the back end that the Blackhawks are looking to obtain.
He is a shutdown defenseman that's not afraid to fight, similar to John Scott but overall a better defenseman.
The 36-year-old also has playoff experience, winning the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009.
Let's go back to a rumor that first popped up about three months ago: the possibility of the Chicago Blackhawks acquiring Bobby Ryan.
The Anaheim Ducks said that they had no interest in trading Ryan at the time. But time changes all.
Come the trading deadline, the 13th-place Ducks may be looking to sell some of their prime assets. Should the Blackhawks go after Bobby Ryan? Absolutely.
At 24 years of age, Ryan has played in four NHL seasons, and in each of those he has scored 30 goals or more. Any team would be willing to trade to acquire a skilled player such as Ryan.
He would bolster the offensive powerhouse that is the Chicago Blackhawks, though a deal of this magnitude would require the trading of one of the team's core players (possibly Kane or Sharp).
In the long run this would help the Blackhawks. But how big of chance is there that deal will go down? Not much, yet still something to keep an eye on before the trade deadline.