Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is investigating the trade market to improve his club ahead of the February 27 trade deadline, according to a recent segment of SportsNet’s HockeyCentral Trade Tracker.
Bowman is said to be intent on the Blackhawks recapturing the Stanely Cup this season, and believes is only a couple of players short of a roster that could accomplish that. The HockeyCentral panel reports that Bowman is looking to add a veteran top-six forward — preferably a center — and a top-four NHL caliber defenseman to fill out the Blackhawks’ bottom pair.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun also reports that a number of teams, including the Blackhawks, will explore the possibility of trading for Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller should he become available. However, the HockeyCentral panel shot down any suggestions the Blackhawks will look to make any changes between the pipes.
The HockeyCentral report is more in line with what Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times also reported recently.
According to Jahns, the Blackhawks have been linked to Edmonton Oilers pending free agent center Sam Gagner — a friend and ex-teammate of Patrick Kane’s — and that the Winnipeg Jets have kept a close watch on their games. Before becoming the general manager of the Jets, Kevin Cheveldayoff was a part of the Blackhawks’s front office so he is familiar with the players.
Jahns suggests that a couple of Carolina Hurricanes players may be two worthwhile options to investigate — forward Tuomo Ruutu, and former Blackhawk, and defenseman Tim Gleason. However, the price for Gleason is said to two first round draft picks or a first round pick and a top prospect, according to Garrioch.
Jahns notes that the asking price for Drew Stafford, Derek Roy and Brad Boyes of the Buffalo Sabres, and the Anaheim Ducks’ Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and Francois Beauchemin, is also high and wouldn’t make sense for the Blackhawks to pursue.
Jason Brough of Pro Hockey Talk lists a number of pending UFA defensemen that may become available: Hal Gill of the Montreal Canadiens, Pavel Kubina and Brett Clark of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Bryan Allen of the Carolina Hurricanes, Adrian Aucoin of the Phoenix Coyotes, Andy Sutton of the Edmonton Oilers, and Steve Staios and Milan Jurcina of the New York Islanders.
Bowman is said to be willing to part with draft picks, prospects / AHLers (such as forwards Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin and defensemen Shawn Lalonde and Brian Connelly), and depth players off his roster, for the pieces he’s looking to bring in. Defenseman Dylan Olsen, center Kevin Hayes and winger Brandon Saad are believed to be off limits.