NHL Trade Speculation: Will the Chicago Blackhawks Make a Move at the Deadline?

James MaahsContributor IIIFebruary 22, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 21: Head coach Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks watches as his team takes on the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on February 21, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  The Blackhawks defeated the Red Wings 2-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Time is ticking down and the clock is almost at midnight, but the Chicago Blackhawks have yet to make any noise.

The NHL trade deadline is less than a week away and the possibilities that the Blackhawks will pull off a big trade seems unlikely.

There have been many rumors swirling around the Blackhawks in recent weeks, mainly involving defensemen and goaltenders. The most notable rumors have revolved around Hal Gil, Pavel Kubina and goalie Ryan Miller. Though Gil and Kubina have been traded already and GM Stan Bowman has made it clear that he is not looking for a goaltender.

So, where exactly does that leave the Blackhawks?

Well, it has become clear that Bowman stands behind the team he currently has on the ice. 

"We're not focused on goaltending. We're really not," Bowman said in an interview with ESPN's Jesse Rogers. "I know there's a lot of talk about that, but internally we have to focus on the guys we have and turning it around from within."

Will Bowman make a big trade at the deadline if that means trading away prospects and a core player? Probably not, and that leaves the Chicago Blackhawks in a tight situation.

Over the past four games, the Blackhawks have gotten out of their losing ways. They have been better defensively and Corey Crawford has been solid in net, winning all four games. 

However, the Chicago Blackhawks have cap space to improve even more defensively. 

Serious Stanley Cup contenders are starting to make their push down the final 20 games of the season. It would be beneficial for the Blackhawks' postseason aspirations if they could pick up someone to support the blue line. 

A small trade won't be good enough for the Blackhawks anymore. With Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook eating up a majority of the ice time on the blue line, Bowman needs to find a defenseman that will contribute at least 15 minutes a game, give the top line a rest and possibly add some depth.

A trade is all the more necessary with Niklas Hjalmarsson and Jonathan Toews out with concussions. How many wins can the Blackhawks take without their top shot blocker and captain?

Bowman will have to find show some of his magic by using prospects and possible depth players as trade bait. 

At the moment, possible trading teams include Edmonton and Anaheim. If Bowman deals some of the Blackhawks' core, almost all NHL teams would be willing to make a trade. 

The Blackhawks are one defenseman away from being serious Stanley Cup contenders. Will Stan Bowman pull off a trade come the deadline? We'll just have to wait and see.