NHL Trade Deadline 2012: Chicago Blackhawks Have Lost Some Physical Edge

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NHL Trade Deadline 2012: Chicago Blackhawks Have Lost Some Physical Edge
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The trade deadline has come and gone and GM Stan Bowman made two trades to try and help the Chicago Blackhawks.

The first trade had the Blackhawks picking up Winnipeg Jets defenseman Johnny Oduya for 2013 second and third-round draft picks. The second trade sent Blackhawks defenseman John Scott to the New York Rangers for a fifth-round draft pick.

The Blackhawks have become a little softer. 

"We're sad to see John Scott go—he was popular player for us," Bowman said in his trade deadline press conference broadcast live via blackhawks.nhl.com

Bowman immediately praised Johnny Oduya for his puck skills.

"His style really fits in with what we're trying to do here," Bowman said. "The way he can skate with the puck and make plays, he's going to bring a lot to the mix."

There is no question that the Blackhawks did improve defensively at the trade deadline. Adding Oduya to the mix—a player who can play 15 minutes a game—will take stress off Duncan Keith and Nick Leddy.

But while the Blackhawks have added a little depth at defense, they also became a little softer by trading away John Scott for a fifth-round pick.

John Scott did not get a lot of minutes in the games he played, probably only five minutes a game. But it's important to stress what his presence on the ice meant for the Blackhawks.

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Being a big and physical defenseman, Scott was able to change the opponent's game plan when he was on the ice. No one was willing to fight Scott—let alone hit one of the Blackhawks' star players.

Losing Scott will be evident in the first few games of his absence. Teams will try to take advantage of the Blackhawks' star players with big body checks and possible cheap shots.

The Blackhawks will have to be a better team at winning puck battles and clearing their own end. Oduya will help in that regard, but not so much on the intimidation part like Scott. 

Will this team be tough enough come playoff time? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, Stan Bowman also said at the press conference that Andrew Shaw will be back up to the Blackhawks' roster sometime this season. The statuses of Jonathan Toews and Steve Montador remain the same with an update coming possibly tomorrow.

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