NHL trade deadline: Blackhawks seem likely to stand pat
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
As the Blackhawks head toward the trade deadline at 2 p.m. Monday, it’s highly unlikely they’ll make any significant moves. Their push for a playoff spot will probably continue with the roster as is.
That sounds good to captain Jonathan Toews.
“You always have to create that chemistry and create that belief in your locker room that you’ve got all the pieces and you’ve got everyone you need to win games this time of year, and credit to our guys,” he said. “We’ve dug ourselves out of what looked like a pretty tough and grim season.
“We’re confident about our identity and who we’ve got in this locker room. We’ve got guys who can do the job going forward.”
The Hawks swapped minor-leaguers with the Kings shortly after their 4-3 loss to the Stars on Sunday, sending forward Matheson Iacopelli to Los Angeles for forward Spencer Watson. Watson will report to the Rockford IceHogs.
If Hawks general manager Stan Bowman makes any other deals leading up to the deadline, those probably would be unloading a secondary player such as Artem Anisimov, Marcus Kruger, John Hayden or Brendan Perlini, if he can find a taker. The Hawks aren’t likely to make any splashy additions but could always use help defensively. Bowman must balance helping the Hawks chase a wild-card spot with maintaining financial flexibility to pursue greater ambitions beyond this season.
The Hawks are now five points out of the final wild-card spot. They start a three-game California trip Wednesday at Anaheim.
Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton is in the loop on trade talks but hasn’t given the deadline much thought.
“He’s updating me,” Colliton said of Bowman. “At the same time, I’ve got to focus on right here, right now and our team and just preparing our guys to have the best performances we can.”
One of the constraints on Bowman is that eight players have some form of no-trade or no-movement clause. Two of the Hawks’ biggest salary-cap commitments, longtime defensemen Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith, both have no-movement clauses and haven’t given any indication they would waive those rights. Seabrook carries a $6.9 million annual salary cap hit through 2023-24, and Keith is at $5.5 million annually through 2022-23.
Anisimov, the third-line center, counts $4.5 million against the cap each of the next two seasons and has a partial no-trade clause this year. He’s required to give the Hawks 10 teams they can send him to this season, and they are free to deal him anywhere after that. Anisimov has 10 goals and 18 assists and has reportedly drawn interest from playoff teams.
Kruger is their fourth-line center and can block a trade to seven teams. He’s a free agent at the end of the season. Veteran winger Chris Kunitz and goalie Cam Ward have full no-movement clauses.