Blackhawks trade Ryan Carpenter to Flames but keep Dominik Kubalik, Calvin de Haan
The Hawks received a 2024 fifth-round pick for Carpenter but seemingly could’ve gotten more future assets to jump-start the rebuild Monday.
Surprisingly, the NHL trade deadline passed with Dominik Kubalik, Calvin de Haan and other frequent subjects of speculation still on the Blackhawks’ roster.
General manager Kyle Davidson did well to receive a fair return for his top item, Marc-Andre Fleury, as well as a massive return for Brandon Hagel on Friday.
And he probably did the best he could with Ryan Carpenter, who was traded to the Flames for a 2024 fifth-round draft pick in the Hawks’ only other deal Monday not involving Fleury.
Carpenter finished his three-year Hawks tenure with 31 points in 168 games, including 11 in 59 this season.
But failing to convert Kubalik and de Haan — pending restricted and unrestricted free agents, respectively, who aren’t expected to be re-signed this summer — into future assets takes some of the vigor out of the rebuild jump-start this past week represented. It seems inefficient.
“You always wish you could do more, just as someone that’s not necessarily . . . passive,” Davidson said. “You always wish you could do a little bit more. But that’s also with the understanding that you can’t force anything. You can’t make something materialize that you want.
“There has to be some give and take with other teams, and that just wasn’t present. I’m really happy with the things we did accomplish here the last several days.”
De Haan tweeted Monday: “Still here; sorry guys,” referencing a similar comment back on Oct. 1. Indeed, the veteran defenseman has outlasted several rounds of rumors during his Hawks tenure, and his sense of humor will be appreciated even more now with two popular teammates in Fleury and Hagel gone.
At 30, though, de Haan won’t be of much use to the long-term rebuild plans. Kubalik, at 26 and finishing up his third NHL season (albeit a very underwhelming one), might have a slightly better argument.
Still, the second- or third-round picks the Hawks were trying to get for each of them — and seemingly could’ve gotten, based on the prices paid Monday for similar players around the league — would’ve helped the rebuild more.
Davidson, speaking for the first time in weeks, also described the Hagel trade for Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk and two first-round picks as a tough decision, but he ultimately couldn’t pass up the juicy return.
“The value proposition was just too high not to move forward in the endeavor to acquire high-end assets and talent,” he said. “As we look to build a team that can sustain success down the road, that was just something we couldn’t say no to.
“A lot of times, the players that have value are players that the other players enjoy, too. That was not lost on me. That’s the difficult part of making changes and building for the future. There are frustrating aspects that come along with moving good people, good players, out of a locker room. That is difficult, [but] it’s a necessary part of the process.”