So, I said in my last blog that I would do a prospect analysis once a week. Stan Bowman ruined that this afternoon by making a multi-player deal with Arizona.
There it is folks. I have a lot of questions that probably won’t be answered. Dumping Hossa’s contract? Great move, sad to see one of my favorites leave, but he probably won’t be playing another NHL game. Hopefully Chicago puts “81” up in the rafters when he officially retires. Also, if he chooses to retire before his contract is up, the Blackhawks get screwed and are forced to pay that, but that doesn’t seem like something that would happen.
I also don’t mind seeing Oesterle leave either. He was a 7thdefenseman/3rdpair guy and Chicago is loaded with those with Erik Gustafsson, Brandon Manning, and Jan Rutta, so they’re not losing much. Now, losing Hinostroza is what really pisses me off. I loved Vinnie. He wasn’t by any means a superstar, but he’s a hometown kid and had potential to be a decent player had he played more than 50 games in the pros.
On the bright side, we plugged a hole at center in the bottom-six by getting Marcus Kruger back. He won’t dominate anyone offensively, but he wins faceoffs and will log a lot of penalty kill minutes. Defenseman Andrew Campbell hasn’t played in the NHL since 2016 and will spend his time in Rockford. MacKenzie Entwistle was a 3rdround pick in 2017 and is still playing in the OHL, while Jordan Maletta has spent his young career in the AHL.
The Blackhawks now have 17 players on their roster and are projected to have $8.5 million in cap space. I’ve seen rumors on Twitter, and rumors are all they are, that Chicago has been talking to Montreal about Max Pacioretty, as well as Carolina about Jeff Skinner. I doubt they could get both, but if they could pull off one, I hope it’s Pacioretty.
But what would it take to get either one? Carolina has made it clear that they want Saad and the pool of young wingers is lower now without Hinostroza. Montreal is desperate for centers, most likely on the younger side, so that points to Nick Schmaltz. Artem Anisimov is also on the trade block, but he turned in a list of 10 teams he’d play for to Chicago’s front office. If the mentality is “win now” while Kane and Toews are in their primes, then go get Pacioretty. This would leave Chicago fairly weak down the middle with Jonathan Toews, John Hayden, Dylan Sikura, and Marcus Kruger. Stan Bowman may not be on the hot seat yet, but if the Hawks aren’t competing come December-January, expect fans to want him gone.
On an unrelated note, a family in my neighborhood back home has suffered a tragedy, as their son Anthony suffered a brain hemorrhage while studying abroad in Prague. We’re all saddened by the news and hoping for the best. I’ve attached the GoFundMe below, please consider donating to the Brattoli family and keep them in your prayers, thank you.