The Chicago Blackhawks have lost starting goalie Corey Crawford, who remains sidelined indefinitely with vertigo-like and post-concussion symptoms. Now, there is growing concern he could miss the remainder of the season which means general manager Stan Bowman will face tough decision as the trade deadline approaches.
According to the Chicago Sun Times' Mark Lazerus, the Hawks face three options on what to do to remain a true Cup contender in the postseason. However, the decision to pull one of these moves might be tough, but to ensure they work in Chicago's favor might be even tougher.
Shop for a goalie
The possible goaltending options on the current market could include Buffalo’s Robin Lehner, Detroit’s Peter Mrazek, the New York Islanders’ Jaroslav Halak or Arizona’s Antti Raanta.
To succeed in pulling off one of these moves might be the real challenge here:
"The problem is, the Hawks don’t have a lot of assets to trade unless they’re willing to part with a roster player (Michal Kempny, a pending free agent, comes to mind). Vinnie Hinostroza was thought to be a trade chip earlier in the season, but he has been playing very well in a top-line role for the last month. And the Hawks already have traded away their second-round pick (in the ill-fated Phil Danault trade with the Canadiens) and their fourth-round pick (in the Johnny Oduya trade last February)," writes Lazerus.
Improve the blue line
While trading for a top-four defenseman would significantly bolster the Hawks blue line, they won’t be the only club seeking a way to bolster their back end on the trade market.
"Of course, the Hawks hardly will be the only team looking for players such as the Jets’ Jacob Trouba, the Red Wings’ Mike Green or the Penguins’ Ian Cole, among others."
The Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs are also said to be on the lookout for a quality defenseman, so the battle and bidding wars might turn off Bowman.
Lazerus expects the Hawks will stand pat with their current goaltending tandem of Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass in hopes Crawford returns later this season. But is it the right decision to make? Surely, it is a tough one.
"The Hawks aren’t nearly bad enough to tank for prized Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin in the draft, and they’re probably not good enough to warrant mortgaging the future on a mediocre rental goalie."
Let's see what the Hawks decide to do, and then we shall know if it was the right decision to make...