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Kris Versteeg: The Latest Chicago Blackhawk Hot in Trade Rumors

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IJanuary 4, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Kris Versteeg #32 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on November 27, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

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As this season has progressed, the Blackhawks have continued to be among the most popular teams in various trade rumors.

Patrick Sharp, Cam Barker, and Brent Sopel have spent time as the more popular Hawks on the rumor mill. Right now, Kris Versteeg has ascended to the top of the list of wanted Blackhawks.

This weekend, Versteeg’s name was linked by a number of media outlets in a potential package in which the Blackhawks would acquire Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk . Monday’s Edmonton Journal features a story by Jim Matheson that claims there’s substance behind a rumor that the Colorado Avalanche will make a strong play for Steeger over the summer. Matheson reports that a package of young defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, currently playing at Boston University, and a second round draft pick could be enough for the Hawks to pull the trigger.

Shattenkirk was drafted 14th overall in 2007, a class that was led by the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane. Shattenkirk is listed at 5′11″, 195 pounds and is considered an offensive-minded blue liner. Hockey’s Future rates him an 8.0, higher than any prospect in the Hawks’ organization, and rated him the No. 27 overall prospect in the NHL before the season started (just ahead of current NHL rookie Evander Kane of the Atlanta Thrashers). He currently leads Boston U’s hockey team with 17 points (three goals, 14 assists) in 17 games.

As this season progresses, there will undoubtedly be dozens of interesting trade rumors and proposals for some of the talented young Blackhawks, with GM Stan Bowman looking to clear some of next season’s payroll to keep the Hawks under the salary cap. Versteeg in in the first year of a three-year deal that carries a $3 million cap number and, at only 23-years old, will certainly bring a lot of inquiries about his availability.

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