Ranking the Players the Chicago Blackhawks Should Covet at Trade Deadline

Tom Urtz Jr.@@TomUrtzJrContributor IFebruary 24, 2015

Ranking the Players the Chicago Blackhawks Should Covet at Trade Deadline

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    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    The Chicago Blackhawks have won two Stanley Cups since 2009, and by no means are the Blackhawks are a team that rests on its laurels.

    Chicago is always in the business of winning, and the impending cap crunch is a great reason for the Blackhawks to try and capture another Cup before the roster needs to be broken up.

    The roster has room for improvement, and the Hawks should be interested in some players who could be available prior to the March 2 trade deadline.

    Without further delay, here are the players general manager Stan Bowman should covet at the deadline.

5. Curtis Glencross, Calgary Flames

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    Age: 32

    Cap Hit: $2.55 million

    Why He Should Be Targeted: According to TheFourthPeriod.com, the Blackhawks are interested in adding a top-nine forward before the trade deadline, and Curtis Glencross is someone who should be on Bowman's radar.

    The Blackhawks likely want to add another top-nine forward because it remains to be seen how Brad Richards will perform in the playoffs, and because the team may want an upgrade over Kris Versteeg.

    In both cases, Glencross would be a good fit because he can play both wing and center. He's averaged 45 points a season throughout his career, and he's certainly a forward who has the offensive and defensive ability to strengthen Chicago's second or third line.

4. Jiri Tlusty, Carolina Hurricanes

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    Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images

    Age: 26

    Cap Hit: $2.95 million

    Why He Should Be Targeted: Jiri Tlusty is a skilled bottom-six forward who has a solid all-around body of work. The Hurricanes winger is slated to become a free agent, and there's a chance he will get a nice new contract this summer because he's on pace to finish with 20 goals and close to 40 points.

    In addition to his regular statistics, Tlusty has produced decent numbers in the advanced stats world. If you take a look at his HERO chart, courtesy of Own The Puck, you will see that Tlusty appears to be only a third-liner, but his points-per-60-minutes average has him in second-liner territory.

    Tlusty is a versatile forward who can be placed on the second or third line without issue, but Chicago could utilize him in a third-line role.

3. Antoine Vermette, Arizona Coyotes

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Age: 32

    Contract: $3.75 million

    Why He Should Be Targeted: Antoine Vermette may be considered overrated when you look at his regular statistics, age and advanced stats, but he'd be a decent fit on the Blackhawks roster. The Blackhawks are a team with a ton of top-end talent, but they could use some insurance in the secondary scoring department.

    During last year's playoffs, Brad Richards was out of gas and ineffective for the New York Rangers. While Richards could be a contributor for Chicago this year, adding Vermette to the second line would make sense from a tactical perspective.

    If acquired, Vermette could line up at center on the second line in place of Richards for all faceoff situations. After the draw is over, Vermette can shift to wing and Richards can move back to center. Richards could also line up at left wing for the rest of the season, an area he had success with while playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    If that doesn't work, Richards could go to the third line, an option that would add depth to the roster. In Vermette, the Hawks would be acquiring a decent second-line scorer who can win faceoffs and play multiple positions.

    In theory, the top nine would be solid with the addition of Vermette—and better than what Chicago is currently deploying.

    Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsMarian Hossa
    Patrick SharpAntoine VermettePatrick Kane
    Brad RichardsAndrew ShawKris Versteeg

2. Jeff Petry, Edmonton Oilers

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    Age: 27

    Cap Hit: $3.075 million

    Why He Should Be Targeted: Jeff Petry is a 27-year-old defender who's slated to become a free agent this summer. NHL.com's Dan Rosen recently listed Petry as a top trade target and Chicago as a potential suitor.

    The Blackhawks arguably could use a 6'3", 198-pound rearguard like Petry because he is right-handed and is efficient at moving the puck. Petry would be an upgrade over Michal Rozsival, who is currently averaging 16 minutes and 27 seconds of ice time per game.

    Petry would benefit from playing on a team like Chicago, especially when you see how his advanced stats indicate that a bad Edmonton Oilers team has hidden how good he has actually been. His HERO chart shows that he fits the profile of a top-four defender, and at age 27, he is entering his prime as a blueliner.

1. Andrej Sekera, Carolina Hurricanes

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    Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images

    Age: 28

    Cap Hit: $2.75 million

    Why He Should Be Targeted:

    Andrej Sekera is a solid top-four defender on a lottery team, and there will be no shortage of suitors interested in acquiring him.

    Rosen also listed Sekera as a potential target for the Blackhawks, and there's a good reason for it. Over the course of his career, Sekera has averaged 20:53 of ice time a game and 28 points a season. Those numbers put him in top-four defenseman territory, and that's a role the Blackhawks need filled.

    Sekera's SAT percentage (or Corsi percentage) is currently 52.22 percent, a very respectable number when you look at the circumstances he's currently dealing with in Carolina.

    His HERO chart is also impressive, and it better reflects how good of a player he is on a very bad team. Sekera would be a great fit, but Chicago may not be willing to deal top assets for a pure rental.

    Rumors and salary-cap information via NHL.com and TheFourthPeriod.com. Stats via Hockey-Reference.com, NHL.com and Own The Puck.

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