CHISportsNation

As summer officially begins to arrive, rumors begin to swirl like a nice, cold, delicious cone of soft serve ice cream. The Blackhawks are one such team caught up in the rumor game. Let’s examine some of the big rumors and how likely they are of happening on a scale of 1-5 (1 being the lowest):

 

Jonathan Toews being dealt?!

In today’s NHL, big contracts are hard to move, especially one that is tied for the 2nd largest per year cap hit such as Toews. Rumors per Eklund at Hockeybuzz.com are that Montreal has interest in #19, however there are many hurdles to this trade. First, Toews possesses an NMC (no movement clause) in his contract. In other words, unless Toews says OK, he can’t be moved at all (sent down/traded). Also, there are contradicting rumors (see more below).

Likeliness of this happening: 1

 

Crow on an island?

Rumors swirling also include Corey Crawford and the NY Islanders. Crawford doesn’t have an NMC, but he does have a modified no trade clause. He can submit a list of 10 teams that he’d accept a trade to, per CapFriendly. However, similar to the Toews rumor, John Jaeckel from The-Rink reports the rumors are coming from the other teams, not Chicago. Chicago is not actively shopping either player, so unless they are blown away or have a change of heart, neither player will likely be leaving Chicago this summer.

Likeliness of this happening: 2

 

The new #65?

More rumors include Chicago being linked to Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. The issue with this trade possibility is that Chicago would have to move some contracts, hence the rumors above, in order to re-sign the 2019 free agent-to be. A perfect storm could result in this upgrade on Chicago’s blue line, but he will likely not be donning the Indian head sweater in 2018-19.

Likeliness of this happening: 2

 

Rock me like a hurricane??

New Hurricanes GM Don Waddell recently said on a Toronto radio show that the team will be looked at deeply and change is coming (insert “brace yourself trades are coming” meme). The Hawks could explore trade possibilities with guys like D Justin Faulk, RW Jeff Skinner and possibly former Hawks 1st round pick F Teuvo Teravainen. Could the Hawks pull the trigger here? Purely speculation, but many in the fan base think this is possible.

Likeliness of this happening: 3

 

So what should you believe?

As a die-hard fan, I take every rumor with a grain of salt until it sounds close to completion. There is no doubt the Hawks need to make some moves this summer. The blue line needs to be improved, a healthy Crawford is needed for this team to succeed, and they could use more depth scoring. From within, the Hawks are relying on the core vets to step up their performances from a year ago (the exception being Patrick Kane). There is still a lot of work to be done.

As a Hawks fan, buckle up, this off-season will be a busy one. Look for Chicago to be one of the most active teams once a Stanley Cup champion is crowned in June.

In the meantime, who do you believe the Hawks should target? Either via trade or free agency? Leave a comment below! Follow up with my opinion to follow!

 

Photo: Nancy Beach

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