The Chicago Blackhawks have a boatload of offensive talent, but they have no chance of winning the Stanley Cup unless they make an upgrade between the pipes before the trade deadline.
One player to consider is Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the Colorado Avalanche. He is having a resurgent season and would be a perfect fit in Chicago. Most importantly, he should come at a reasonable price compared to other deadline deals.
Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports the Avs may be willing to part with the veteran netminder depending on their standing in the playoffs race at week's end:
Fact is, Giguere has had a tremendous season for the Avs and has championship pedigree. He also has a small cap number ($1.25 million) and he's signed through next year.
Might not a contending team with some goaltending issues (Chicago, maybe San Jose) perhaps be attracted to having a guy like him around, and give up something nice in return—say a high draft choice?
Giguere has the highest save percentage of his career so far this season and has proven in the past he can withstand a Stanley Cup run. He backstopped the Anaheim Ducks to a championship in 2007, regularly standing on his head during the playoffs.
The Blackhawks haven't received that type of goaltending at any point this year. Corey Crawford and Ray Emery have both been less than impressive during their respective starts, leaving Chicago with no other option to consider alternatives.
Chicago has been able to stay afloat during the regular season because of its elite offense. In the postseason, however, the game tightens up and teams must rely more heavily on their defense to survive the grind.
Right now, the Blackhawks aren't prepared to handle that style of game. While some of the blame surely belongs to the defense, a team needs to have confidence that its goalie will be able to steal a game or two during a series.
Crawford, who has started the majority of Chicago's games, hasn't played well enough to even think about him leading a Stanley Cup charge.
There's no guarantee Giguere would be the answer, but it's much more likely he'll save the day than Crawford or Emery.
It's certainly worth a shot at $1.25 million, which is very reasonable for a player with his track record of success. Should the idea fail, all the Blackhawks would have given up was a draft pick, which are always hit-or-miss anyway.
If Chicago is serious about another Stanley Cup triumph, the team can't ignore its biggest weakness. Giguere is the player to make it go away.