It’s been a tough calendar year for Chicago Blackhawks fans. After nine consecutive Stanley Cup Playoffs appearances and four consecutive 100+ point seasons, the Hawks failed to qualify for the postseason in 2017-18 and put up a dreadful 76 points during the regular season. 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 Blackhawks forward 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. Aside from shipping Hossa’s contract along with other assets for some cap relief, there’s not much Bowman can do to improve his club this offseason.
A recent report from anonymous hockey insider Eklund has Hawks fans wondering if big changes are coming to the Hawks’ roster this season, though. How big? Like… trading away superstar captain Jonathan Toews. Say what!?
In his latest column for Hockey Buzz, Eklund reports that teams are calling the Hawks to enquire about Toews and that the Montreal Canadiens have also received calls on defenseman Shea Weber.
Check it out:
This is my exclusive to a degree, and I wish I could tell you my connection to this, because you would all be more interested for sure..but of course I can’t. I am not saying these two players are getting moved for each other, or even that they are getting moved at all. I am just saying there has continued to be discussions…and they aren’t fading at all. Both teams have taken calls and have not yet made decisions…That is newsworthy because of the kind of players we are looking at here….I will continue to monitor…
Okay… a couple things:
- First off, Eklund is a notoriously unreliable source. Take his words with a GIANT grain of salt.
- Which teams even have the cap space to take on Toews and his $10.5 million cap hit?
Again, Eklund’s track record on these types of predictions are not good, so take this rumor for what it is… just a rumor.
Still, you have to imagine that plenty of teams would be interested in Toews should he hit the trade market, especially if Bowman and the Blackhawks are willing to retain some salary in a deal. Likely? No. Interesting? Definitely.