Throughout most of the season it was known that Cam Barker was the most likely player to be traded during the season due to his high cap hit and average play throughout the 2009-2010 season.
Although Barker had struggled this season many throughout the league still saw him as a potential top four defenseman if he was actually given a shot to be so. On the Blackhawks Barker was nothing more than a five of six defenseman, but if given more minutes he could turn into quite an offensive defenseman.
Now, for what the Blackhawks got for Barker: in return for the former first round pick they received veteran defenseman Kim Johnsson and defensive prospect Nick Leddy.
In Johnsson the Blackhawks get a very solid defenseman, although not a productive offensive defenseman like Barker. Whatever Johnsson lacks in offensive production he makes up in his defensive play—which is evident by his plus minus, a plus-3, that is second on the Wild.
Another reason that Johnsson was attractive for the Chicago Blackhawks, besides his solid defensive play, is that he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and his cap hit of $4.8 million will be off the books.
Along with Johnsson and his expiring contract the Blackhawks receive 2009 first round pick, defenseman Nick Leddy. Currently, Leddy is ranked as the second best defenseman in the Wild's system, and was named Mr. Hockey of Minnesota in 2009.
Leddy currently plays at the University of Minnesota, and has recorded five points in 19 games with the Gophers.
Usually it is tough to say who wins trades the day they are made because you have to consider how they preform the rest of the way with that team, but I've got to say I think the Blackhawks outright won this one.
The Hawks are able to unload a player who was being overpaid to be a fifth/sixth defenseman and was hurting their cap and in return they add a good defensive defenseman and a top prospect from the Wild system.
It will be a while until we fully know who won this deal, as we need to see how Barker develops in the Wild system, how Johnsson plays for the Blackhawks, and how Leddy plays when he reaches the NHL, but for now the edge lies with Stan Bowman and the Chicago Blackhawks.