Report Card for Chicago Blackhawks' 2014 Trade Deadline Decisions
The Chicago Blackhawks were not looking to make a blockbuster deal prior to the trade deadline.
Still, general manager Stan Bowman is not one to take the Blackhawks' status as defending Stanley Cup champions for granted. He knows that 15 other teams will challenge Chicago in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and they were all attempting to make moves to improve.
That means the Blackhawks could not stand idly by and remain satisfied with their roster. The Blackhawks did not make any huge moves, but they did make a couple of minor changes to their roster in the days prior to the trade deadline.
Here's our report card for their moves.
Defenseman David Rundblad (Acquired from Phoenix)
Size: 6'2" and 195 pounds
2013-14 stats: 12 games played, no goals, one assist.
Trade terms: Acquired with defenseman Mathieu Brisebois for a 2014 second-round draft pick.
Analysis: Rundblad, 23, is a highly respected prospect who did not fulfill his potential with the Coyotes. It may be difficult for him to gain significant playing time with the Blackhawks, but general manager Stan Bowman and head coach Joel Quenneville both believe Rundblad has the tools to make a contribution.
If he is going to be able to help the Blackhawks this year, it seems likely he is going to have to make a very solid first impression. If he doesn't do something quickly to impress his bosses, there's a chance Rundblad will spend much of his time watching the Blackhawks play from the press box.
Defenseman Mathieu Brisebois (Acquired from Phoenix)
Size: 5'11" and 180 pounds
2013-14 stats: 28 games played with Portland Pirates (AHL), one goal, three assist.
Trade terms: Acquired with defenseman David Rundblad for a 2014 second-round draft pick.
Analysis: Brisebois, 21, is an offensive-minded prospect who will play for the Blackhawks' minor league affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. Brisebois has solid instincts and will not hesitate to jump into the fray when he gets an opportunity.
His lack of size is an issue, as he is going to have to improve his skating to make up for that liability before he gets a chance to play at the NHL level.
Forward Brandon Pirri (traded to Florida Panthers)
Size: 6'0" and 183 pounds
2013-14 stats: 29 games played, six goals, five assists.
Trade terms: Traded to Florida Panthers for 2014 third-round draft pick and 2016 fifth-round pick.
Analysis: There's little doubt that Pirri, 22, is a talented player, and the Blackhawks had no doubts about that. However, it comes down to results, and Pirri did not assert himself on the scoreboard when he was given an opportunity.
He should have a much better chance to prove himself in a less pressurized environment in Florida. The Blackhawks have a chance to add decent prospects with the draft picks they received in the deal.
Defenseman Brian Connelly (Acquired from Minnesota Wild)
Size: 5'11" and 185 pounds
2013-14 stats: 50 games played for Iowa Wild (AHL), five goals, 27 assists.
Trade terms: Acquired from Minnesota Wild in trade for forward Brad Winchester
Analysis: This is a deal that is not likely to have an impact at the NHL level. Connelly has played in 343 games for Rockford, Abbotsford, Houston and Iowa in the American Hockey League, and he has scored 32 goals and 181 assists in his career. He has played in two AHL All-Star games.