Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Three Trade Candidates On Blackhawks As Team Approaches Deadline


As the NHL trade deadline inches closer, the Blackhawks again find themselves in a similar situation: hoping to sell some of their best available players and maximize a return of youth and draft capital. The team has commented lately on how the “vibe” in the room is different from last year, and players aren’t walking on eggshells as much as the purge of last March. Veterans like Nick Foligno, Jason Dickinson, and Petr Mrazek have already been locked up on two-year deals, so there’s a relatively short list of players who are on the trading block this time around. Nevertheless, as players turn into “trade chips”, a trio of players are likely to don new sweaters sometime in the next month.

Tyler Johnson

After being out since December 31 with a foot injury, Johnson finally returned to the lineup last Wednesday, where he’s been an important member of the team’s third line, which has been stellar all year. He’s valuable to the Blackhawks for now, but is 33 years old and with a contract expiring after this year, doesn’t exactly fit in Chicago’s long-term plans.

Johnson’s $5 million salary makes things a bit more complicated, but with the abundance of cap space at the Blackhawks’ disposal, it’s certainly realistic that Chicago could eat a big chunk, or nearly all, of his AAV. Doing so would allow the team to ship him to a contender who could use his services in the bottom six, potentially bringing a big return in the form of draft picks or prospects.

Taylor Raddysh

Raddysh being dealt by the Blackhawks is far from a sure thing – he’s only 25 years old and his value to his squad can’t be overstated. Raddysh has tallied just 11 points on the year, but his all-around, high-motor game is certainly noticeable whenever he’s on the ice. Raddysh’s contract of just $758,333 AAV comes off the books after this season, but he could certainly be brought back at a reasonable price. By that same reasoning, Raddysh has plenty to offer a contending team that wouldn’t have to overpay for the Blackhawks to retain some of his salary, unlike Johnson. Still, if GM Kyle Davidson can fetch a decent return for Raddysh, there’s no reason he shouldn’t pull the trigger.

Anthony Beauvillier

Having been brought to Chicago at the end of November, Beauvillier could leave at the deadline having spent just three months with the team. He’s been a decent all-around player during that time, and his plus-minus of -3 certainly isn’t terrible for being on a squad as bad as the Blackhawks’. He’s still on the injured list from a wrist injury he suffered in early January, but the 26-year-old is still a solid asset for a contending team to acquire down the stretch. Much of Chicago’s value from a potential trade would come from retaining some of his $4.15 million salary, but that’s a great way for a team with more than enough cap space to use it effectively.

While it’s not unlikely that other names like Colin Blackwell and Jarred Tinordi pop up as the Blackhawks creep toward the trade deadline, Johnson, Raddysh, and Beauvillier represent the three most likely candidates to find new teams. As Chicago continues to gear up for the future, the front office still has plenty of work to do before March 8.

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