So, you’re one of the many who says the Chicago Blackhawks need to make a trade.
Perhaps you think they need a goalie. Or, they need to bulk up the blue line.
But, where do you give? What do you deal? How do you compensate?
Roughly 80 percent of the season is over. Still plenty of time to heal the injured, and make a run at it.
You’re injured Blackhawks:
Niklas Hjalmarsson, Steve Montador, Daniel Carcillo, Jonathan Toews.
Here’s why this matters:
Montador: Acquired over the offseason to bulk up on loss players such as Brian Campbell. Montador led the Buffalo Sabres last season with 136 blocked shots.
Hjalmarsson: Led the Chicago Blackhawks last season with 166 blocked shots. He was among the top shot blockers this season before landing on the injured reserve.
Carcillo: Acquired during the offseason, Carcillo was brought on to join the depth lines to add grit and toughness. Guys like John Scott have been helping, but Carcillo had other desirable traits in addition to fighting.
Toews: Well, let’s not go too much into depth here. The Blackhawks are on a three-game skid, after winning four and losing nine. The Blackhawks barely won that game against Detroit, with the 2-1 result, and have lost all three games without their captain.
Blackhawks faithful seem to think this is a team worth blowing up or, at least, tinkering with, and dealing valuable forwards for a rental goalie or to clutter the blue line with an average defenseman.
Those on the outside looking in have a similar view.
The Blackhawks are a competitive team. When healthy, they were a team to be reckoned with. Corey Crawford has been left out to dry many times because the blue line support hasn’t been there. Montador and Hjalmarsson are irreplaceable.
It’s just one of those seasons where you have to dust your hands off and admit to being a victim of the injury bug. Chicago has the odds behind them to still make the playoffs. And when they get there, they’ll have a mostly healthy lineup. They’ll be fine. Being hurt one day does not hinder your chances in the playoffs weeks from now. Not your seeding or home ice advantage. It’s who you have out there, and how you manage each minute.
But at least we know what the product on paper looks like on the ice when healthy. Maybe GM Stan Bowman can target a blue liner and short-term veteran goalie during free agency.