Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Players Who Could Be Dealt
The Chicago Blackhawks are in need of some dealing from GM Stan Bowman. Rather than swapping valuable pieces for prospects and draft picks, Bowman is charged with obtaining some impact players this summer.
That may mean waving goodbye to some good players. To get something back in a trade, one has to be willing to give up something of value. It all hinges on getting players that can help your team win.
Here is a list of five Blackhawks who might find themselves on the trading block in the coming weeks.
Hjalmarsson has probably reached his peak as an offensive player. He is a big shot-blocking defenseman, but lacks the physicality a lot of fans would like to see in a second-pairing guy.
Paying Hjalmarsson $3.5 million to man the bottom pairing isn't acceptable. If Bowman believes that Dylan Olsen can stick with the club next year and fill that physical role, coupled with a possible free-agent pickup (Ryan Suter, would you please stand up?) on the blue line, expect to hear Hjalmarson's name to come up in trade talk.
After a career-high in goals and points in 2011-12, striking while the iron is hot could be on Bowman's mind.
Stalberg used his speed more effectively this past season and showed that he can be potent offensively. He is signed at a reasonable price through next summer, which could entice some team to inquire about him.
What Bowman has to decide on is whether Stalberg has reached the peak of what he can do and is worthy of a longer, costlier commitment.
A lot of the possibilities start with the Rat being dealt, which could have two effects.
Such a move could clear cap space for other needs to be addressed this summer. It would also pave the way for Marcus Kruger to take over checking-line duties.
In Chicago, Bolland is most definitely a third-line center. This seems to be his lot with the Blackhawks. He is a player that has value around the league and if Stan Bowman believes in the talent underneath Bolland on the depth chart could be deemed expendable for the right return.
If Bolland doesn't change his address, it could be Kruger who is shipped elsewhere.
Kruger saw some time in the middle of the second line this season. While he formed a pretty good line with Stalberg and Patrick Sharp for awhile, it doesn't look like he's a real dynamic scorer in this league.
Would Bowman put one of his prized prospects on the block if he thought he could substantially improve the team?
The situation at center figures heavily in Pirri's future in the organization. If Bowman has a plan for a permanent solution to the second top-six center needed to play behind Jonathan Toews, Pirri becomes a player who might fetch help that can play right now.
Pirri was an AHL All-Star and showed he can dent the nets in Rockford. Right now, Kruger seems to be the guy who is in line for a spot in the lineup again in 2012-13. If Bowman figures that Pirri could be depended on to spark the second line in the next season or two, he likely stays put.
However, if Bowman has another plan for the next three or four years, Pirri could wind up in another uniform this summer.