Once defenseman trade market awakens, Blackhawks’ Calvin de Haan will be in play
Monday’s Josh Manson trade between the Ducks and Avalanche sets a return precedent for a theoretical de Haan trade.
Two trades involving the Avalanche finally have roused an NHL trade market that had been eerily quiet for weeks.
The Avalanche and Wild’s like-for-like forward swap Tuesday — Tyson Jost for Nico Sturm — seems unlikely to affect the Blackhawks. But the Avalanche’s acquisition Monday of defenseman Josh Manson from the Ducks provides an interesting glimpse into Calvin de Haan’s potential value.
Manson and de Haan, after all, have some similarities. They’re both 30 and pending unrestricted free agents. De Haan’s salary-cap hit with 50% retained by the Hawks would be $2.275 million, just above Manson’s $2.05 million hit after the Ducks retained 50%.
Over the last three seasons, while each battled injuries, de Haan has tallied 21 points, 300 hits and 296 blocked shots and averaged 19:11 of ice time in 127 games, while Manson has tallied 25 points, 290 hits and 141 blocked shots and averaged 19:47 in 118 games. Both excel with defensive-zone puck retrievals but need assistance from a better puck-moving partner to exit the zone.
For Manson, the Ducks received a 2023 second-round pick and the rights to Drew Helleson, a defensive prospect drafted in the second round in 2020 whom they signed Tuesday.
That was an impressive haul, one which surely excited the Hawks. De Haan’s value won’t quite equal Manson’s, but it seems plausible that the Hawks could get the second- or third-round pick that, according to sources, they’ve established as their asking price for him.
Beyond cementing an asking-price precedent, though, the Manson trade could jump-start a domino effect of negotiations and trades on the defensive rental market.
With less than a week left until Monday’s trade deadline, there’s a ton of activity yet to happen on that front, with the market loaded with available defensemen and the league full of teams seeking defensive help.
The biggest holdup might be Jakub Chychrun, the Coyotes’ No. 1 defenseman and arguably the No. 1 player on the block. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported last week that the Bruins, Panthers, Blues, Kings, Hurricanes, Ducks and at least two other teams have been heavily involved in the Chychrun sweepstakes, which will require a massive package of assets to win. But Chychrun was ruled out Tuesday for two to four weeks with a lower-body injury, clouding the situation.
Beyond him, Seattle’s Mark Giordano and Montreal’s Ben Chiarot sit near the top of the defenseman trade board, while Philadelphia’s Justin Braun, Detroit’s Nick Leddy, Buffalo’s Colin Miller and Manson’s former Anaheim teammate Hampus Lindholm are also potentially available.
But only one team — if that — will land Chychrun, leaving all those others to turn to other options. And the Maple Leafs and Rangers also have indicated interest in bolstering their defenses. It won’t exactly be a buyer’s market despite the quantity of guys available.
That leads back to de Haan, who trails only Dominik Kubalik on the list of most likely Hawks to be traded.
The rumors are nothing new for him, considering he endured speculation throughout much of last season, too, while preparing to be exposed in the expansion draft. He hasn’t been made available to the media since Feb. 20, but Seth Jones — his pairing partner Tuesday against the Bruins and much of the season — said recently that “if he does move, hopefully he has a chance to win somewhere.”
The Hurricanes are one intriguing possible landing place, considering they’ve heavily scouted Hawks games lately and de Haan was part of their 2019 conference-finals run before being traded to the Hawks. The Bruins, Panthers and Leafs might make sense, as well.