Analyzing the Chicago Blackhawks trade options

After an eventful summer for all the wrong reasons, the Blackhawks find themselves in a troubling position nearing the trade deadline. As of 2/22/22, Chicago sits 7th in their division, 8th in their conference, and a heavy 15 points outside of a playoff spot. Even if somehow miraculously they were to go on a winning streak of 12 games, I still believe the wild card spots are out of reach. What next? What options do the Blackhawks have?

Marc-Andre Fleury

The first name that comes up in discussion is Marc-Andre Fleury. The 37 year old veteran goaltender has had a pretty good season so far. His stats don’t jump off the paper; as of right now he sits with a 16-18-4 record, with a SV% of .912. I don’t think the stats can tell you the whole story of his performance, and on a contending team with a better defense I believe Fleury would thrive. The main difficulty in regards to his trade situation, is his commitment to living in Chicago and his intentions to play another year in the NHL. The scenario that I personally find most likely, is that Fleury gets traded to a contending team in need of a better goaltender, then when his contract expires he signs back in Chicago for his last season. What teams would I expect to be calling the Blackhawks about the reigning Vezina winner? I think the best fits are the Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild. From Edmonton, Chicago should be seeking everything they can get and maintain patience until Ken Holland acts in desperation to acquire Fleury. Edmonton seriously lacks any goaltending consistency and if they plan to make a deep playoff run, a new player in between the pipes is absolutely necessary. They could legitimately get a first round pick if the struggles from Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen continue. As for Minnesota, their need is less dire. I think they would only be a backup plan if Edmonton doesn’t work out.

Dylan Strome

Another trade chip for Chicago is Dylan Strome. Strome has had his name in trade rumors for the longest time now, and him being a healthy scratch often early in the year did anything but help him or his trade value. If you were to look for a trade at the time he was being used in fourth line roles or being scratched, you would be lucky to fetch a fifth round pick. In his first 14 games, Dylan only put up 3 points. Since then, he’s had 18 points in 25 games, which is very respectable. His faceoffs have also improved mightily, at 54.59%, which is up over 7% in comparison to last year. If you can look past his rough start mainly caused by a lack of ice time and a role that he wasn’t fit to play, Strome can be an intriguing piece for a playoff team in need of center depth. He’s still relatively young, and has offensive upside. I think he’s a pretty universal fit for any playoff team if he’s used properly. In my opinion though, I don’t think he should be traded as I don’t think you can generate enough value for him via trade that would justify moving him. I think it’s the best choice to keep him in Chicago and let him continue to grow here. The most I could see the Blackhawks getting for him is maybe a second round pick or a mid tier prospect. 

Dominik Kubalik

Where do I start with the season the former 30 goal scorer has had this year. He’s just looked… invisible. I’m not entirely sure what happened. He’s been playing with talented players, and has had a fair share of ice time and yet he’s not even on pace for 20 goals this year. Kubalik is on an expiring contract, and I’m not sure that you can get much for someone on their career low year. His shot is still a lethal weapon but he doesn’t put himself in situations where he can use it to the best of his abilities. The best choice in my opinion is to play the waiting game with him. Sign him to a cheap two year deal once free agency comes around, and hopes he falls back into the thirty goal territory he’s capable of.

Brandon Hagel

Brandon Hagel is the life of this team. It’s hard to really explain to someone who doesn’t watch the hawks truly how good he is in every single role he steps in. Third in points and fourth in goals on the Blackhawks, Hagel has shown his offensive upside with his production well enough, but that doesn’t tell you the whole story. Not a single player on the hawks can match and play with the energy he plays with. It’s hard to come up with a word that describes his style of play in the best way, but he is a workhorse. Every loose puck, every puck battle, every time he needs to come on top in a situation, he will prevail. He has great vision and his hockey IQ is off the charts. Hagel is the type of player that NHL GMs salivate over. He’s a coach’s dream, and he’s on a very affordable contract at only 1,500,000 dollars per year. His name has been circulating as of late due to all of these factors, and the price that has been thrown around is a first round pick, a top prospect, and more. I like that the Blackhawks aren’t willing to settle with any trade for him, and I appreciate that they realize the impact he makes on the team. Here’s the thing. I don’t believe a Hagel trade really makes sense for either party involved no matter what team you insert in discussion for him. What he brings to the Blackhawks is completely irreplaceable no matter what you offer in terms of value. You don’t find players like him. As for the other side of the deal, I don’t know how many teams are willing to give up what Chicago is asking for. I think it’s most likely, and probably best that the Blackhawks just hold onto him for now, as that’s probably the safest and best option unless you’re faced with an offer that you cannot say no to. Unless one of those offers comes around, expect Hagel to be staying with the Blackhawks for the foreseeable future.

1 thought on “Analyzing the Chicago Blackhawks trade options”

  1. I love Chicago and all these players – I just feel so bad because they have these very good components but things aren’t clicking – hopefully they figure their stuff out now and come back strong!! Love the article! 💪

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