The Chicago Blackhawks were sellers at the trade deadline. That gives us some things that we learned about them and their future.
The Chicago Blackhawks were sellers on February 24th’s official trade deadline. At 2 pm central standard time on that day, all trades across the NHL had to be finalized and there will be no more trades until the offseason. The Blackhawks clearly see themselves as a non-playoff team with the moves that they have made. If the were going to the playoffs, they probably would have kept the players that they traded away but it just wasn’t in the cards this year.
They were relatively quiet at first. They had players in trade rumors obviously, but there wasn’t any word of any deals being worked on throughout the final morning. That changed when they sent Erik Gustafsson to the Calgary Flames for some draft picks. Then they followed it up by sending Robin Lehner to the Vegas Golden Knights for Malcolm Subban, a draft pick, and a prospect. Those two moves declared the Hawks season as over in a lot of people’s minds.
Moving Lehner was the big one. He has been one of the best goalies in the NHL over the past few seasons. The Blackhawks weren’t good enough to take advantage of that fact so they dealt him to Vegas. Gustafsson had his flashes of brilliance but he probably wasn’t part of the future anyway. They probably should have traded him last summer but they waited too long and paid the price for it. Either way, there is a lot to digest for Blackhawks fans. These are the three biggest things we learned from this year’s trade deadline: