Hawks defensemen all for adding another blue-liner

SHARE Hawks defensemen all for adding another blue-liner

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 15: Sean O’Donnell #6 of the Chicago Blackhawks poses for his official headshot for the 2011-2012 season on September 15, 2011 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It has been weeks since Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman first said he was looking for help on the blue line. It’s a search that continues to this day.

The Hawks’ defensemen have heard him, too. But those whose playing time figures to be most affected by an acquisition – veteran Sean O’Donnell and 20-year-old Nick Leddy – say they’re all for adding another player.

‘‘We all listen,” O’Donnell said of hearing that Bowman is looking for blue-line help. ‘‘But I think if you polled 12 GMs that feel like they have a chance, they’re all looking for something, whether it’s a defenseman or forward.

‘‘We want to win a [Stanley] Cup. And if that means we’re able to get someone who can help us win, we’re all for it.”

Despite his age, Leddy has firsthand knowledge about what can happen before the trade deadline. Two seasons ago, he was a promising prospect when the Minnesota Wild sent him to the Hawks with fellow defenseman Kim Johnsson for defenseman Cam Barker.

‘‘It was a huge shock,” Leddy said. ‘‘I guess it worked out for the best.”

The number of quality defensemen available has dwindled recently, with several players re-signing with their out-of-contention teams. But others, such as Chris Campoli and Hal Gill of the Montreal Canadiens, are still available. Injuries to defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador also show why it’s good to have more options.

Neither Leddy nor O’Donnell thinks all the trade talk is an overwhelming distraction. As the Hawks’ sixth defenseman, O’Donnell would see his time decrease if another blue-liner is added.

‘‘We can’t affect that,” O’Donnell said. ‘‘I think you have to have pretty thick skin in this league. If you listen to every rumor and everything that’s said, it will get the best of you.”

Leddy’s struggles are another reason the Hawks need defensive help.

‘‘I think it will definitely help out,” Leddy said. ‘‘Adding more guys to our team that can benefit us is definitely a good thing.”

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