On Tuesday morning, the Blackhawks announced that veteran forward Corey Perry’s contract would be terminated after he participated in “unacceptable” conduct. After an emotional press conference at 4 p.m. CST, GM Kyle Davidson wasted no time in filling Perry’s place among the forward ranks. Just minutes before Tuesday night’s matchup against Seattle, Elliotte Friedman broke the news that Chicago had traded a fifth-round pick to Vancouver in exchange for forward Anthony Beauvillier.
At 26 years old, Beauvillier carries a $4.15 million cap hit for this year and is in the final season of a three-year deal. In 22 games played this year, he has eight points with a plus-minus of +8. He’ll be able to replace some of the veteran presence of Perry with nine seasons of experience, logging 237 points in those campaigns.
Beauvillier has been a proven middle-six forward for the Canucks this year, but will likely appear on one of Chicago’s top two lines. He has plenty of speed, which has been a hugely targeted trait for the Blackhawks this year and is a good, creative puck handler.
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The fifth-round pick Chicago sent to Vancouver in return is practically nothing for a team with a barrage of early draft picks. The Blackhawks already have most of the pieces in place to become a competitive team in the next few years thanks to a few strong drafts – those pieces just have to properly develop. As Chicago continues to get better, its draft picks will gradually become less important.
The move seems at first glance to be a shrewd one, and one Davidson and his staff had to make. With Taylor Hall out for the season with an injury and Perry no longer with the team, plus Andreas Athanasiou missing at least a bit more time with his injury, the Blackhawks found themselves without a huge chunk of their offensive production. Although the team isn’t expected to compete for a championship this year, leaving the entire scoring burden on youngsters like Connor Bedard and Philipp Kurashev is never a good idea.
Davidson had his work cut out for him with the offensive production his team had lost in the past few weeks, but he and his staff took a big step to acquire high-level talent. If Beauvillier can hit the ground running in Chicago, he could be a tremendous asset that the team got for pennies on the dollar.