The Blackhawks got the most important thing out of the way on Thursday, when they snapped their nine-game losing streak in a huge win over the Eastern Conference-best New York Rangers.
But now, as the Hawks hope to build on the win against Columbus on Saturday, there is a new concern, that only increases with every transaction that takes place around the NHL.
The trade deadline is a little more than a week away, but we can already see moves starting to happen. The Blackhawks were expected to be active in the market, presumably for a defenseman first and then a forward, if they can manage both before the deadline.
But in the last two days, the Blackhawks have seen two of their targets come off the board. Nicklas Grossman was acquired by the Philadelphia Flyers and the oversized Hal Gill was shipped to Nashville.
If you follow Jesse Rogers over at ESPN Chicago, if you’re into that sort of thing, you’d see that the Stars reportedly wanted Brandon Saad for Grossman. Given what we’ve seen from Saad to this point, that’s certainly a move Stan Bowman didn’t feel comfortable making, and rightfully so.
But the Flyers traded future picks, a second in 2012 and a third rounder in 2013. Couldn’t Bowman have talked them down? As for Gill, the Blackhawks already have one incredibly large, incredibly slow defenseman.
But even so, Gill was believed to be a target of the Blackhawks, just as Grossman was. With quite a few teams in on Pavel Kubina, including both the Red Wings and Blues, the Hawks are going to have a tough time acquiring him as well without an incredible overpayment.
The Blackhawks really can’t afford to wait until the deadline creeps even closer to make a move. Teams around them are realizing how thin the market is and there is a sense of urgency around the league to act quickly. We haven’t seen that from Bowman yet.
Hopefully we see it soon, or it’s going to end up costing the Hawks.