Chicago Blackhawks Trade Rumors: Latest Speculation Ahead of NHL Trade Deadline

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2013

Chicago Blackhawks Trade Rumors: Latest Speculation Ahead of NHL Trade Deadline

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    The Chicago Blackhawks have been the best team in the NHL throughout the regular season.

    They set records in the first half of the season, going 24 games before they finally lost in regulation.

    However, regular-season accomplishments mean little in the overall scheme of things and if the Blackhawks don't win the Stanley Cup—or at least get to the finals—the season will be looked at as a disappointment.

    General manager Stan Bowman's job is to help the Blackhawks get better so they will be even tougher to beat in the postseason.

    The team is strong and sharp, so the Blackhawks don't have to make a lot of moves. However, there are a couple of moves that Bowman may be considering to fine tune his team and put it in a position to win its second Stanley Cup in four years.

Blackhawks Never Made a Push for Jarome Iginla

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    Not Seriously Interested

    The Blackhawks were one of the four teams that Jarome Iginla said he would accept a trade to.

    The Flames traded Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins. It seemed like a deal would be executed with the Boston Bruins, but Iginla ultimately preferred Pittsburgh over Boston.

    The Blackhawks never got seriously involved.

    The Blackhawks would have had to present the Flames with an offer that included a first-round pick, a top prospect and perhaps a talented minor leaguer to have had a chance for Iginla, but they never went that far.

Blackhawks Trade for Michal Handzus

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    The Blackhawks added a second-line center when they picked up veteran center Michal Handzus from the San Jose Sharks.

    The Blackhawks know that depth is an issue, and that's why they decided to bring back Handzus for his second tour of duty (he played briefly with them in 2006-07) with the team.

    The Blackhawks sent San Jose a 2013 fourth-round draft pick for Handzus. The Blackhawks have been concerned about their performance in the faceoff circle—other than Jonathan Toews—and that's why they added Handzus. He is winning better than 55 percent of his faceoffs this season.

Derek Roy, Dallas Stars

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    Derek Roy could fill a need if the Blackhawks want to add a scorer.

    They probably won't pull the trigger on this deal after trading for Michael Handzus, but Roy has skills.

    Roy, traded by the Buffalo Sabres to the Stars for Steve Ott at the end of last season, will be a free agent this summer.

    If the Stars come to the conclusion that a playoff run is unlikely, they could trade Roy to a contender like the Blackhawks prior to the April 3 deadline (source: Blackhawkup.com).

Multi-Player Deal with Islanders

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    The Blackhawks have concerns about the state of their defense.

    The same unit that performed at a sensational level during the first half of the season has sprung a few leaks in recent games.

    Specifically, Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is concerned about Johnny Oduya. The defenseman is minus-eight in his last four games through March 30.

    Tim Sassone of the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald says the Blackhawks are talking to the Islanders about a potential trade for defensemen Mark Streit or Lubomir Visnovsky and forward Frans Nielsen.

    Visnovsky signed a contract extension with the Islanders, so it appears they will be holding on to him for the foreseeable future (source: CBSSports.com).

    The Islanders are interested in a couple of Blackhawks prospects, including forward Jeremy Morin and defenseman Dylan Olsen.

Bowman's Conservative Nature

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    While the Blackhawks want to put themselves in the strongest position to win the Cup, Bowman likes the makeup of his team.

    He wants to add to his team to make it stronger, but he told the Chicago Sun-Times that he doesn't want to upset the chemistry of a team with championship potential.

    “To get a top guy, you have to wonder what the price would be,” Bowman told the Sun-Times. “We’re not looking to change the mix we have. We’re looking to add to it. We don’t want to change the chemistry we’ve developed.

    “If we don’t end up making a trade, I would be comfortable with the group we have here.”

     

    Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

    While it seems likely that Bowman will err on the side of conservatism, he may be considering another bold move. The Blackhawks failed to advance in last year's playoffs because their goaltending let them down.

    Goaltenders Corey Crawford and Ray Emery have been among the strongest part of the Blackhawks' game this year (2.10 goals-against average, tied for second with Boston), but playing stellar regular-season hockey is not the same as doing it in the playoffs.

    Could Bowman be considering a trade for a goalie?

    It's a likely thought, but it's probably not one that he would execute.