Mattias Janmark was a healthy scratch for the Blackhawks’ game Saturday against the Blue Jackets.
The Hawks are expected to trade Janmark, a pending free agent, before the 2 p.m. deadline Monday and won’t play him in order to avoid injury and protect his value.
Coach Jeremy Colliton called it an “organizational decision to hold him out.” He could fetch something close to a third-round pick or B-grade prospect in return. He had 19 points in 41 games with the Hawks.
“A lot of teams are dealing with stuff like this,” Colliton said. “It’s the time of year. Obviously, you address it [with the team], depending on the situation. The message is [to] focus on what you can control.”
Scratching players in anticipation of trades has been a popular strategy around the NHL this year. In the last week, the Devils did it with Kyle Palmieri, the Sabres did it with Taylor Hall and the Blue Jackets did it with David Savard. Palmieri was quickly traded to the Islanders, Savard was dealt to the Lightning on Saturday and Hall likely will have a new home by Monday.
Meanwhile, Brett Connolly and Riley Stillman — the Hawks’ additions from their trade Thursday — have joined the team and skated with the scratches and taxi squad Saturday.
“[We’ll] just try to get them up to speed so that as much as possible, they can prepare so when they do get in, they can play on instinct,” Colliton said. “They’ll skate today with the other guys who aren’t playing, get their legs going and go from there.”
Strome relates to Borgstrom
Henrik Borgstrom, the biggest piece of that Hawks trade — even if he won’t be seen in Chicago until next season — will get a chance to revive his career after flaming out with the Panthers.
Dylan Strome knows exactly what that feels like. The 2015 third overall selection by the Coyotes, Strome never found his rhythm in Arizona, playing more AHL games than NHL games. But his November 2018 trade to the Hawks allowed him to grow into a solid NHL player.
“It changed my career around pretty heavily,” Strome said. “It wasn’t going too well in Arizona for a while. You get around a new group, new set of faces, new coaches, new everything. It gives you another lease on life.”
He can imagine the same change of scenery aiding Borgstrom.
“It’s the same for a lot of young players,” he said. “You get traded by the team you got drafted by, and they’ve seen you for so long at so many rookie camps, development camps, main camps and exhibition games. I got to Chicago, and you’re in the lineup right away the next day before they even see you. You’ve got to start fresh again and show them what you’ve got. It can work well for a lot of players.”
Kampf could be moved, too
Borgstrom’s addition seemingly pushes David Kampf out of a protection spot for this summer’s Seattle expansion draft.
The Hawks likely will choose Alex DeBrincat, Brandon Hagel, Alex Nylander, Strome and Borgstrom in addition to Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane (whose no-movement clauses require protection) as their seven protected forwards.
So the Hawks could consider trading Kampf in the coming days. TSN moved Kampf up to 25th on their Trade Bait list Saturday. A source said at least two teams have shown interest.
Kampf has zero goals but is strong defensively, on the penalty kill and on faceoffs. He has allowed the second-fewest opponent shots among Hawks forwards this season.