It’s been a tough calendar year for Chicago Blackhawks fans. After nine consecutive post-season appearances and four consecutive 100 point seasons, the Blackhawks failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2017-18 and put up a miserable 76 points. Ouch.
The loss of veteran Marian Hossa to a rare skin disorder hurt the club, as did general manager Stan Bowman’s decision to trade sniper Artemi Panarin to the Columbus Blue Jackets for former Jonathan Toews linemate Brandon Saad. Throw in a season ending injury to starting netminder Corey Crawford and you get the recipe for a disastrous season in the Windy City.
So… where does the team go from here? Hossa has confirmed that he won’t be coming back and the Hawks are too cash and cap strapped to make any real impactful offseason additions. And from Crawford’s absence in 2016-17, it’s clear that the team needs a capable back up moving forward.
Sportsnet reporter and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman proposes a “one size fits all” solution to the Hawks’ woes in his latest 31 Thoughts column. His idea? Trade Hossa’s contract to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for former Hawks goaltender Scott Darling.
Trade that might only make sense to me: Scott Darling for Marian Hossa, with the Hurricanes keeping money on the goalie.
Blackhawks clear cap room and gain security if Corey Crawford is unavailable. Carolina can go elsewhere in net and save actual dollars.
I have been told that the league isn’t thrilled with the idea of Hossa being used as a trade chip, but the Blackhawks need the room.
Interesting… technically such a trade would be allowed by the NHL and it does seem to mutually benefit both sides. But whether it goes down or not remains to be seen. Darling was miserable for the Hurricanes in his first full season as an NHLer starter in 2017-18, going 13-21-7 with a 3.18 goals against average and .888 save percentage.
Interestingly enough, Scott Powers of The Athletic reports that the two teams have not only talked about a Darling trade, but a trade package containing star defenseman Justin Faulk, as well.
The Blackhawks have talked to the Carolina Hurricanes about defenseman Justin Faulk and goalie Scott Darling.
Again… interesting. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire?