Chicago Blackhawks' Featured Columnists Tab Bamford and Michael Wagner will, over the coming week, evaluate and discuss potential trade candidates on the Blackhawks roster. With the Hawks needing to move money off their 2010-11 payroll, players that are currently Blackhawks won't be next year. This is the first article of that series.
Entering the 2009-2010 season many, including myself , thought that Tomas Kopecky could be an X-factor for the Chicago Blackhawks after a strong training camp and preseason.
Who could blame us 'Hawks fans for being interested about Kopecky as in the offseason he was signed to a two year, $2.4 million deal? So 'Hawks management had to believe that there was some talent there.
Well, it seems as though they might have been wrong.
Kopecky has not played well in the 'Hawks system only recording three points and a minus-7 rating in 27 games and was a healthy scratch for the first time this season against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Now the likely reason that Kopecky was in the press box tonight was just to send a message to the slumping forward but it is also possible that this could be something more.
With the 'Hawks recent signings of their big three rumors have begun to swirl about who might be in and who might be out.
Most of the names involved in possible trade talks have been the likes of big money players such as Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, and Cam Barker but every little bit counts and Kopecky is a movable commodity.
Kopecky might be struggling now but he could still be a valuable player for a team that lacks depth and his ability to play multiple positions is another valuable asset to a team looking for a checking forward.
If Kopecky were to be dealt there would be multiple options to replace him on the 3rd/4th line such as Jacob Dowell, Bryan Bickell, or even Jack Skille.
In the short time that Dowell, Bickell, and Skille were with the Blackhawks they combined for as many points as Kopecky with three and as a group were a plus-1 in 13 games.
So basically whoever the 'Hawks were to replace Kopecky with would likely be an upgrade and would be a lot less money.
Now the benching of Kopecky could be much ado about nothing but if his slump continues I can guarantee you that he will be seeking employment elsewhere in 2010.