Everybody knows that the Stan Bowman era was loaded with bad trades for the Chicago Blackhawks. He inherited a team ready to make multiple runs at the Stanley Cup and gets way too much credit for it but his flaws started to show more and more as the years went on. One of his worst trades is starting to show up big when you watch the NHL this season.
In 2018, the Hawks sent Ryan Hartman to the Nashville Predators in exchange for picks and a prospect. Of course, none of those things that the Hawks returned for Hartman, including the first-round pick, have become anything special. We hope that Nicolas Beaudin (the first-round pick) turns into something but so far it has been a bust.
Nashville wasn’t the last team to make a mistake with Hartman as they traded him to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Wayne Simmonds. Then, Philly traded him to the Dallas Stars for Tyler Pitlick. Every team that sent Hartman away, especially the Hawks who spent a first-round pick on him, is kicking themselves right now.
The Minnesota Wild signed Hartman on July 1st, 2019. He hasn’t been a superstar for them but he has put up some points and played mostly well. Now, in 2021, he is looking like that first-round pick that he was back in the day. At 27 years old, he is really turning on his production.
The Chicago Blackhawks should have never traded Ryan Hartman away.
Hartman had his career-high 19 goals with Chicago at 22 years old in 2016-17. Since then, all of the bouncing around has hurt him a little bit but he has officially hit his stride with the Wild. He is going to surpass that 19 goal career-high with ease as he just scored his 12th on Sunday. It turned out to be his Wild-leading 4th game-winner of the season.
The Hawks gave up on a lot of young promising players early and Hartman is no different. He is on pace for 46 goals right now which is probably a stretch but 30 is a serious possibility. As long as he keeps working hard to create chances and get to the dirty areas, he will be great. There are many great years of hockey left in him.
Now that Stan Bowman is gone, it would be nice to see this team stop trading away great players. Hartman’s explosive start to the 2021-22 season is just proof of how bad it was. The bad trades rear their ugly heads from time to time and this one is no different.