The Chicago Blackhawks are in trouble. It is time to admit they are sellers at the trade deadline and should be building for the future.
The Chicago Blackhawks had a disaster of a Western Canadian road trip. The fact that they went 1-4 for a total of two points out of ten is not good. They would have gained some serious steam if they played well on this trip because the teams around them didn’t exactly light the world on fire but the Hawks didn’t take advantage. Because of that fact, it is probably wise to consider them sellers at the trade deadline.
They have a few key players on expiring contracts. After 2019-20 is over, Erik Gustafsson, Robin Lehner, and Corey Crawford are all unrestricted free agents. Those guys would be free to sign with any team in the league if they reach July 1st without an extension. They have some restricted free agents that they will have to deal with as well, but they are likely going to extend the notable ones.
There are also a few players with extra value that they could trade that are not on expiring contracts. Those are also the players that will yield the biggest haul because they will not be viewed simply as a “rental”. One of those players could be a guy like Brandon Saad, whose name has been out there from time to time.
Regardless of what decision the Blackhawks make as far as who to trade, they should be sellers at this point. They are on track to waste yet another great year from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. They got the absolute most out of them in the first half of their careers but the second half hasn’t been going quite as well from a team perspective. Making a few moves could wake a few guys up along with netting the Hawks some valuable assets for the future.
Whoever is running this team by the Draft could have a big year as they try to retool for 2020-21. As long as Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews remain with the organization, it is going to be hard to say that they are rebuilding. For now, they should really be sellers and start to focus on next year because it doesn’t seem like they’re getting to the playoffs this time around.