It seems strange to say that the Chicago Blackhawks won’t be buyers ahead of the upcoming trade deadline, but times have changed. The Hawks might be heading closer to a retooling phase than the one they enjoyed as a modern dynasty years ago, but general manager Stan Bowman will have to make tough choices to save his club’s future.
However, Bowman insists that he won’t be moving any of the team’s “core four”, which includes the highly paid veterans who helped them win three Stanley Cups since 2010. Of course, it would be crazy to suggest that he could trade captain (Serious) Jonathan Toews or superstar forward Patrick Kane. Sportsnet and Down Goes Brown are not saying he should.
But what about veteran defenseman Brent Seabrook?
While he remains part of that significant core group, the 32-year-old blue liner has had a rough season, recording just three goals and 17 points in 57 games and watching a game from the press box, despite his lucrative contract.
Yes, back on January 9th, Seabrook was made a healthy scratch against the Ottawa Senators, which sent shockwaves across the National Hockey League. Seabrook is among Chicago’s highest paid players, trailing only Kane and Toews for highest cap hit on the team, and sitting him in the stands looked poorly from the Hawks. And rival teams noticed.
But it also begs the question: should Bowman shop him? Sportsnet does not believe the Hawks could get much in return for him.
“Would they get much for him? Probably not, and they’d likely have to retain money, take back a bad contract and/or sweeten the deal with a pick or two. Seabrook also has a NMC. Still, he’s a proven winner with three Cup rings in a league where GMs love their intangibles. This could be the Hawks’ last chance to wriggle away from this albatross before it’s completely unmovable."
While this first phase of this trade plan might be in motion, Chicago would still need to find the perfect trade partner for this significant move. A potential destination could be Vegas.
“It’s as close to a fit as we’re going to find, and they’ve even got the David Clarkson chip ready to play if they need it,” we can read on Sportsnet.
Vegas is still unsure of the position they will take at the deadline, seeing that their inaugural season was not expected to be this great. The Golden Knights were believed to become sellers at the deadline and build a strong future, but since they are currently in the playoff run, they might buy instead.
The defense is the best part of the Knights’ inaugural season, with top defenders being Nate Schmidt, Brayden McNabb, Deryk Engelland and Luca Sbisa. Seabrook could add leadership and experience could push the Knights over the edge and blow past expectations in the post-season.
However, the Golden Knights could theoretically become a destination of choice for top NHL free agents and GM George McPhee could wait to bolster up his back end with pending free agents this summer.
Still, the Hawks could always try to ship off Seabrook and Vegas could take this gamble - who knows!