According to the Chicago Blackhawks' website, the Blackhawks have traded second-line center Robert Lang to Montreal for a second round pick in 2010.
This move was primarily made in order to get under the salary cap—Lang will make $4 million this season, and before the trade the Blackhawks were $2.5 million over the cap.
The Lang trade also allows for the Blackhawks' youthful centers to get a chance. Dave Bolland and Petri Kontiola will get the most attention, but this move also opens up a roster spot for Kevyn Adams who was suppose to sign with the Hawks once money freed up.
With Lang out of the picture in Chicago the Blackhawks' center depth looks like the following:
- Jonathan Toews
- Dave Bolland
- Adam Burish (Scary if he is our 3rd line center)
- Petri Kontiola
- Tim Brent
This lineup is a little unsettling for the Blackhawks—they have now lost their second-line center, a veteran center, and their third best point scorer.
Although there is a very slim possibility that, to get him on the Blackhawks' roster this season, Kyle Beach could be moved to center from left wing. Another possibility is Patrick Sharp getting moved back to center and Aliu, Beach, Makarov, or another prospect winger making the team.
The most likely possibility is that the Blackhawks sign Kevyn Adams to a one-year $800,000 contract, playing on the third line for the Blackhawks.
Adams would be able to replace Lang's veteran presence in the lineup and would be able to push Adam Burish back to the fourth line where he belongs.
I know a lot of fans on the Chicago Blackhawks' message boards have been struggling to come up with a reasoning for the movement of Lang.
My reason? The Blackhawks needed to get under the cap, and moving Khabibulin was very unlikely, so Dale Tallon made a move. Even though it is a bit controversial, the Blackhawks needed relief and they got it.
In my opinion this give Akim Aliu and Igor Makarov a real shot of making this team. Makarov has looked good in the rookie camps and should get solid consideration at this years' training camp.
If you can pair Makarov, Bolland, and Havlat for a full season then I believe they will thrive, providing great energy, speed, and scoring.
I'm not happy that Robert Lang is gone, but something needed to be done and Dale felt this was the best option.
Will this payoff in the end? I hope so.