Blackhawks commerce deadline preview: GM Stan Bowman has talked to ‘practically everyone’ about commerce choices


With mere days left till the NHL commerce deadline on Monday at 2 p.m. CT, Blackhawks common supervisor Stan Bowman has been speaking “recurrently” with different GMs across the league about commerce potentialities.

“I’ve touched base with practically everyone, simply getting an thought of what they’re making an attempt to do and understanding what their wants is likely to be,” Bowman mentioned earlier this week.

He’s contemplating three forms of trades.

However there’s one kind he’s explicitly not contemplating: bringing in a pending unrestricted free agent as a rental. Though the Hawks are within the playoff race, their focus stays squarely on the longer term, and so they’re not going to swap any future-oriented belongings for present-oriented belongings.

“We won’t be available in the market to commerce away draft picks or younger gamers to accumulate a veteran UFA,” he mentioned bluntly.

Final week’s commerce for Vinnie Hinostroza, who shall be a UFA, was an exception as a result of the Hawks solely had to surrender a participant (minor-leaguer Brad Morrison) who “actually wasn’t within the plans for us in Chicago,” Bowman mentioned.

However Bowman will contemplate enjoying the other position, dealing away one of many Hawks’ personal UFAs — of which they actually have simply two, forwards Mattias Janmark and Carl Soderberg — in change for a decide or prospect. That’s the only kind of commerce he’s open to.

“Proper now, they’re a part of our group and…there’s a situation the place they might stay with us,” he mentioned. “[But] once we’re able like we’re and so they’re not signed past this season, typically in these circumstances groups are actively pursuing these guys. There’s been no definitive selections made on them.”

Janmark’s analytics are poor however his counting stats are first rate, having scored 19 factors in 40 video games. He’s solely 28 years previous, so a GM may look to accumulate him as a rental then re-sign him this summer time. He might be value a second- or third-round decide or B-grade prospect.

Soderberg (14 factors in 33 video games) is much less interesting as a 35-year-old who has been scratched twice these days, however heart depth is efficacious sufficient that he may fetch a late-round decide.

The second kind of commerce Bowman is contemplating would entail taking up one other group’s overpriced contract and receiving supplementary belongings for doing so.

With the Hawks possessing greater than $22 million in cap area this yr (per CapFriendly) on account of their many gamers on long-term injured reserve — and on observe for plenty of cap area once more subsequent season — at a time when so many different groups discover themselves pressed up in opposition to the cap, this type of transfer makes excellent sense.

“Persons are throwing out ideas, however at this level no person is that fascinated with paying a worth that I feel can be essential,” Bowman mentioned. “We do have the flexibility to tackle a participant, but it surely’s acquired to be [with] one thing that we deem worthwhile, whether or not it’s a draft decide or younger participant.”

A commerce like it will solely occur as soon as a contender tight on cap area decides to accumulate a participant and must unencumber more room to suit them in. Bowman described it as a “rooster and egg” state of affairs.

So the dominoes across the league want to begin falling to provoke the method. The Islanders lastly jumpstarted that Wednesday, buying Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the Devils, however Anders Lee’s latest LTIR designation and the Devils retaining 50% of Palmieri and Zajac’s cap hits allowed the Isles to suit them in with out having to jettison an albatross contract like Andrew Ladd or Leo Komarov.

Ideally for the Hawks, one other group trying to make a splash earlier than Monday afternoon will really must discard somebody. Conceivable potentialities embody the Oilers and James Neal, the Hurricanes and Jake Gardiner or the Capitals and Richard Panik.

“For them, it’s like a two-step course of,” Bowman mentioned. “‘I’m going to unload this participant and pay a worth to do it, after which I’m going to pay a worth to get this different participant. Do I need to do all that? And in what order?’ These conversations are within the early phases however I’ve had them with some groups.”

The third kind of commerce into consideration — and the sort that might be most fun for Hawks followers — would herald a younger participant with contract time period who matches into the Hawks’ long-term plans.

Bowman realizes the Hawks, regardless of their youth and potential, stay removed from returning to the highest of the mountain. Outdoors assist may speed up that climb.

“Our group shouldn’t be the place we wish it to be, which means we’re not a completed product right here and we’d like [help in] areas up and down the roster,” he mentioned. “I wouldn’t say we’re concentrating on one place, however there’s areas at ahead and protection the place we have to enhance.”

Conversations with varied groups about all three forms of trades have been steadily ongoing for 10-14 days now, Bowman mentioned, however are anticipated to strongly enhance in depth and urgency over the weekend.

Many have speculated that this season’s flat wage cap, COVID-19 quarantine guidelines, all-divisional playoff format and lowered revenues may create a quieter-than-usual commerce deadline across the league, however Bowman mentioned his dialog frequency has been “fairly in keeping with previous years.”

The approaching days will decide if these conversations result in precise trades for the Hawks.

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