Sunday, July 12, 2015

Where Do The Hawks Stand Now that Sharp and Saad are Gone?

The salary cap hit the Chicago Blackhawks hard again this off-season.  First, the loss of both, Brad Richards and Antoine Vermette.  Then, stars Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp were moved to Columbus and Dallas.  In return in those trades, the Blackhawks now received four starters that make in immediate impact in the starting lineup.

Stan Bowman stated that he didn't want to trade for prospects and draft picks.  He wanted players that would make a difference immediately.  He did just that with the key acquisitions of Artem Anisimov and Marko Dano when trading Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Anisimov has been inked in as the #2 center for Patrick Kane.  Dano has not been set anywhere yet, but rumors have him playing the opposite wing of Kane while playing with Anisimov.  Dano is a center by nature so there is a possibility of him as the #3 center.  Dano, 20, in his NHL debut last year scored 20 points (8G, 13A) in 35 games.

Patrick Sharp was traded to the Dallas Stars earlier this week and in return the Blackhawks received veteran defenseman, Trevor Daley and forward, Ryan Garbutt.  Daley, 31, is a defenseman that plays as many minutes, if not more, than Johnny Oduya, 33, did.  Daley also had career offensive numbers last year (16G, 22A).  Oduya remains a free agent as of now, but is still waiting to see what Bowman can do to retain him.  Garbutt is a veteran, role playing forward that could be used on a 4th line.  This could be crucial if Bowman cannot bring back Marcus Kruger.

Are the additions of these 4 new players enough to help replace what was lost with Saad and Sharp?  Could Bowman have gotten more for them?  Should they have held onto them?  Time will tell, but for having to shed salary, Bowman in my opinion, did a great job in getting players that will make a difference right away starting next year.



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