If the hawks become sellers...
Monday, I talked about a couple players the Hawks could potentially target if they decided to be buyers at the deadline. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can find it by clicking here. Today, let’s take a look at who the Hawks might move if they decided to be sellers.
This was a lot harder than I originally thought it might be. When looking at this roster anyone with true trade value is going to be someone you want to rebuild around. However, that’s what makes the GMs job so tough is having to make these types of calls. Bowman always seems to make the wrong ones, but I’ll save my complaining about him for the show. So, without further ado here are five guys the Hawks could move at the deadline.
1. Robin Lehner Goalie (Pending UFA Current Cap Hit 5 Million)
This one would hurt and be a mistake in my opinion, Lehner was one of the bright spots during the rough start of the season and continues to be absolutely stellar. Trading him would make sense as he has already told the media that he will not be taking a discount and wants to get paid fair value. He hasn’t turned down the idea of resigning with the Hawks but if it looks like that isn’t going to happen, Bowman should try to get what he can for him. His name is already being thrown out there as trade bait with the Hurricanes showing interest. Maybe work a deal to bring back Teuvo?
2. Corey Crawford Goalie (Pending UFA Current Cap Hit 6 Million)
Let’s state the obvious Crow has been beyond amazing for this team. He has helped this club win two Stanley Cups and has been with the organization his entire career. He will be 36 next season and potentially one concussion away from having to call it a career, but man has he found the fountain of youth this year. I believe that this will be his final season in Chicago and if they can resign Lehner and are officially out of the playoffs Crow would a great piece to help a team make a run at the cup.
3. Duncan Keith Defenseman (Signed Through 2023 Cap Hit 5.538 Million)
This would be a miracle trade to pull off, Keith is slowing way down and showing extremely poor defensive coverage and terrible shot selections (cough shin pads cough). However, the rest of the hockey world still sees him as a Norris caliber player so why not take advantage of it. His leadership alone would help any team who might not have the playoff experience and could make a great addition on a bottom pair. One catch is that he has a full no movement clause and shows no signs of wanting to waive it. There are reports that Coach Q might ask him to take his talents to Florida but only time will tell if that could happen.
4. Brandon Saad Winger (Signed Through 2021 Current Cap Hit 6 million)
At the start of the season I would have been all for this move but the way he has been playing it would be tough to let him go. He would be a very attractive piece to any playoff team, he is still young at 27 and will only have one year remaining at a very decent cap hit. Since there is that extra year of control the haul, we could get back plus the cap space this would create would be more than worth it to move him this year at the deadline when teams tend to overpay.
5. Erik Gustafsson Defenseman (Pending UFA Current Cap Hit 1.2 Million)
Gus seems like an obvious choice for a trade piece this deadline. He is an extremely solid offensive defenseman who has been finding his touch again. He is very cheap at the 1.2 million hit and if he doesn’t pan out, he is a free agent this summer. Gus has all the makings of a low risk high reward rental player and I couldn’t imagine any playoff team not taking a chance on him. He was in trade talks this past summer but let me tell you this now, there is no way that we get a first-round pick for him as some other sites have suggested.
There you have it, five guys I can see the Hawks moving or trying to move this deadline if they decided to sell. If a couple of those guys get moved it will be tough to see as it marks the end of an era in Chicago. Changes are coming to this team; it is just a matter of are we starting it at the deadline or waiting for the off season.
Who do you think the Hawks should look at moving if they go down that route?