NHL Rumors: Could Nick Leddy Be Trade Bait For The Blackhawks?

By Randy Holt

With the way things have gone so far this summer, you might think Stan Bowman was content rolling into the 2012-2013 season (assuming there is one), with the same exact Chicago Blackhawks team as last season. Other than the additions of Sheldon Brookbank and another buddy of Joel Quenneville to the caoching staff, the Hawks’ front office has been silent.

All we can do right now is speculate as to which names on the current roster are available for trade, but one name to “emerge” recently is quite surprising: Nick Leddy.

Leddy had a decent season overall in 2011-12, though he was no stranger to plenty of rookie struggles in his first full season. At times he was overmatched by bigger forwards and looked lost out out on the ice. Not all of his struggles were his fault, though.

After Brian Campbell was traded, the Hawks expected Leddy to assume his role as the third defenseman. Overall, it was a role he wasn’t quite ready for, though he flashed plenty of potential and put up some good numbers on the blue line. The addition of Johnny Oduya also helped to calm him until the postseason rolled around.

The front office is obviously very high on Nick Leddy. So why would they trade him? The biggest reason would be the fact that he’s already a restricted free agent next summer. As an offensive defenseman, it’s going to cost a pretty penny to keep Leddy around, especially in this current market.

If the Hawks do look to trade him, his age and offensive skill could help the Hawks to upgrade up front, while moving someone like Oduya into his type of role until a kid (Adam Clendening?) is ready to make the full-time jump to Chicago.

I doubt much comes of the Leddy rumors that are out there. At this point, it seems like more of a suggestion than an actual possibility. Nonetheless, it’s an intriguing situation for the Chicago Blackhawks, though as much as this front office loves Leddy, I wouldn’t count on it.

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