For Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman, the NHL trade deadline came and went without a big move. With a team currently at the top of the Western Conference, that can't come as a complete surprise.
Two minor shuffling of prospects aside, the acquisition of Michal Handzus will be the only deal Bowman made to try and improve his club. The 'Hawks will be getting a pair of skaters to bolster their lineup. However, they will be returning from injury and not arriving via a trade.
Chicago can look forward to getting Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp in uniform. For Hossa, that could come as soon as Thursday night against the Blues (via ESPN Chicago). Sharp is still out with a bum shoulder, but is nearing a return as well.
The Blackhawks were active in the past two days following the Handzus trade. On Tuesday, they sent Phillipe Paradis to the Tampa Bay Lightning. In return, Chicago received the rights to defenseman Kirill Gotovets (via ESPN Chicago).
Gotovets, who is playing college hockey at Cornell, isn't under contract, which is a part of why this deal was likely made. The Blackhawks were near the limit of 50 players under contract and created some flexibility in case they have a chance to sign another prospect.
On Wednesday, it was forward Rob Flick's turn to say goodbye to his Rockford teammates. Chicago dealt Flick to the Boston Bruins for Maxime Sauve (via Fox Sports). The 23-year-old forward had 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in 52 games for Providence of the AHL.
Flick, as well as Paradis, were two players who saw their ice time evaporate due to the lockout. In an ordinary season, both may have continued to build on late surges in 2011-12. Instead, neither player really got in a groove this season.
Paradis has been injured recently and had a goal and seven helpers in 36 games. Flick, who has been suspended numerous times in his tenure in Rockford, had three goals and a pair of assists in 51 games for the IceHogs. He has been a healthy scratch in recent games.
Sauve is a restricted free agent following this season and is being sent to Rockford for whatever action that remains for the IceHogs (though he did play in one game for Boston last season). His father, Jean-Francois Sauve, played parts of seven seasons in the NHL, and his uncle is former Blackhawks goaltender Bob Sauve.
Sauve is not likely to be seen in an Indian head sweater in the immediate future, and I wouldn't think the 'Hawks are in a big hurry to sign Gotovets, so neither of these recent trades figure too prominently in Bowman's plans. Sauve is probably closer to playing in the NHL than Flick or Paradis, but time is going to have to tell on this deal.
More so than in previous years, the big score wasn't there for Bowman. We all would have loved to see a solid play-making center fall into Chicago's lap, however unlikely that would have been. This didn't happen, so Bowman and the Blackhawks will just have to move on.
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