Top Blackhawks trade targets
The NHL trade deadline is fast approaching and the Blackhawks’ roster could use a few tweaks to get it ready for another Stanley Cup run. The Hawks are scoring in bunches, but goals allowed continue to be a problem. With that in mind, here are a few guys likely to be available come deadline time that the Blackhawks should target.
Defenseman Tim Gleason, Carolina Hurricanes
Tim Gleason is a big, rugged defenseman who would slide into the 3rd defensive pairing beautifully. He is capable of playing 20 minutes a night and would be a guy the Hawks could trust to take a few minutes away from Keith and Seabrook. The Hurricanes are having a dismal season and would love to dump the free-agent-to-be Gleason and acquire prospects and players as they continue to rebuild around their young core.
Forward Tuomo Ruutu, Carolina Hurricanes
Former Chicago Blackhawk Tuomo Ruutu should also be available at the dead. Ruutu’s game has improved greatly since leaving Chicago. He is a versatile forward who can play wing or center. Ruutu also plays a very physical game, which is something that the Hawks have been missing from their top 6. A Ruutu return would be a great coup for the Blackhawks.
Goalie Al Montoya, New York Islanders
When I said back in October that Corey Crawford didn’t look right to me, people basically wanted me murdered. A .904 save% and a 2.81 GAA aren’t the worst numbers ever, but his play has been less than inspiring. The second Pominville goal last night was a perfect example of a typical goal against Crawford. While it was a good shot, Crawford was slow to react and then lacked the explosion necessary to slide across and square up to the shooter. Montoya is a local kid that played the best hockey of his career down the stretch last season. While I wouldn’t supplant Crawford immediately, it’d be nice to have a solid insurance policy just in case his game doesn’t come around.
Forward Travis Moen, Montreal Canadiens
The Habs are dead in the water and could be a fire sale as they get closer to the deadline. Moen would be a very attractive piece for the Blackhawks. He is a veteran winger that has been through the playoff wars before and knows what it takes to win. He provides a lot of sand, but can also chip in offensively. Moen would add tremendous depth to the Blackhawks for the stretch run.
Francois Beauchemin, Anaheim Ducks
Another depth defenseman for the Blackhawks would certainly help. Like every other player on this list, Beauchemin doesn’t require a financial committment beyond this season. Beauchemin has won a Cup and is a rock on defense. He is old, but not O’Donnell old. Definitely would upgrade the backend for the Hawks.
None of these players are particularly sexy names, but they could all help the Blackhawks win a Cup without locking them into a bloated contract.
Follow me @WindyCitiSports