Though we have yet to see any real action from the Chicago Blackhawks this summer, the fact that Rick Nash was finally dealt may help pick up action on the trade market. Expect the NHL rumors machine to start back up.
The Hawks aren’t expected to be too heavy in the market, but they do have some names that could be intriguing for teams looking to add a piece or two to their roster. Here are five names that the Blackhawks could look to deal before the summer is over.
Niklas Hjalmarsson – A prime trade candidate, Hjalmarsson would have made perfect sense in a swap for Sam Gagner before he signed a new contract with the Edmonton Oilers. Hjalmarsson is a steady guy on the blue line and a shot blocking wizard. At $3.5 million, he’s likely overpaid for the role the Hawks will put him in, but could make sense for a team that might have a bigger role for him.
Steve Montador – It sounds like his concussion problems are behind him, which is obviously a good thing. Montador wasn’t used correctly this year, with Joel Quenneville basically taking his physical game away from him. Monty is a solid veteran on defense and can kill some penalties. His contract isn’t awful either, though who knows how many teams will take a chance until we know he’s actually healthy.
Patrick Kane – Just kidding. Absolutely not going anywhere. Nor should he.
Michael Frolik – If unable to find a suitor for him, the Hawks may opt to send him to Rockford or Europe. But Frolik is a very good defensive forward, though his offensive game hasn’t come around for the Hawks as they’d like. He could be worth a shot for a team willing to give him a change of scenery.
Nick Leddy – Chalk this up under “unlikely”, but it’s possible. The 20-year-old defenseman is a restricted free agent next summer and will cost the Hawks some serious dough. They could deal him now, upgrade up front, and put Johnny Oduya into his role until Adam Clendening is ready. But the front office probably likes him too much.
Viktor Stalberg – A contract extension is possible, but the Hawks could sell high on Stalberg, who is an unrestricted free agent next summer. The only way I see them dealing him now is if they can get a team to overpay and upgrade in the middle. I still think that signing him to an extension is the best route, though.