If the hawks were to buy...
With the NHL trade deadline just three weeks away, Stan Bowman is going to need to decide if he is going to be a buyer, seller, or stay the course. I am going to post a series of blogs talking about the benefits of each and give a couple suggestions as to what could be moved to help this team in the long run.
First up, let’s talk about the Hawks being buyers. As of this writing the Hawks are three points out of the last wild card spot with 2 games in hand on the Coyotes and 6 points out of the last division spot. This team is good and could surprise a lot of people and sneak into the playoffs and do some damage. However, adding an extra piece or two could really but this team over the edge. If this was the route Bowman is to go, he would need to be very careful on who he goes for and what he gives up. Main targets should be true rental players that will become UFA’s this off season but also not demand a large haul back that might jeopardies the future of this club.
Here are five guys that could be a decent pick up to help the Hawks make that playoff push.
1. Wayne Simmonds New Jersey Devils Winger (Pending UFA Current Cap Hit 5 Million)
At 31 years old he isn’t the threat he once was, but Simmonds could be a great pick up and a solid addition to help boost and add some grit to the Hawks bottom 6 but also skilled enough to play on the top two lines as well. Toss him in front of the net on the powerplay and let him muck it up out there to get under the skin of the other team. Simmonds could be a great replacement for Shaw, however the asking price from New Jersey might be just a little too much for a rental type player.
2. Sami Vatanen New Jersey Devils Defenseman (Pending UFA Current Cap Hit 4.875 Million)
Anyone who has watched the Hawks play the last couple of years will be able to tell you that defense is the weakest link on this team. Making a move for a defenseman should be the obvious move however what this team needs is a longer solution and not just a rental. Vatanen could be the move to make with plans for past this season. Having a down year with struggling club, he could be resigned on a prove what you got deal however because of the upside to his game it’s going to be an expensive package to get him for the chance to resign him.
3. Michael Frolík Buffalo Sabres Winger (Pending UFA Current Cap Hit 4.3 Million)
Stop me if you heard this one before, Stan Bowman trades for a player who helped win one of the three Stanley Cups. This plan always seems to backfire on him but for some reason he just loves to make this move. He would be a vet who knows what it takes to win that can play a great role position on the 3rd or 4th line. Plus having another Czech on the team to mentor Kubailk and Kampf isnt going to hurt. Being traded once this year for a 4th round pick, he might be able to be grabbed for another 4th or even 5th rounder.
4. Tyler Toffoli LA Kings Winger (Pending UFA Current Cap Hit 4.6 Million)
Toffoli has been a name floating on the trade block all year and seems like almost a guarantee to be moved at the deadline. The Kings are on a fast track to completely rebuilding and Toffoli needs a change in scenery in the worst way. He has won a cup back in 2014 so he knows what it takes and is another player that can play on all four lines.
5. Ilya Kovalchuk Montreal Canadiens Winger (Pending UFA Current Cap Hit 700k)
Kovy is an interesting idea, it is well known that he is cup chasing and has struggled a bit since coming back to the NHL. After being released by the Kings he signed on with the Canadiens and has put up 9 points in 11 games. Is he going to be a game changer? Not really, but with his scoring touch and low cost to acquire him why not take the chance on the Russian?
Now remember none of these names have been connected to the Hawks nor am I saying these are perfect or realistic moves for them to make. However trade deadline time is the perfect time to let your imagination run wild. Please let me know who you think the Hawks should make a move for if they turn out to be buyers and check back Wednesday when I break down possible players to move if they decided to be sellers.