The Chicago Blackhawks have made yet another trade. Friday night they announced that they have acquired forwards Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Phillip Danault and a 2nd round pick in 2018.
This is the third trade in the last two days for Chicago, following moves to acquire Andrew Ladd and an exchange of Rob Scuderi for Christian Ehrhoff with Los Angeles earlier on Friday.
Montreal has had a historic collapse this season and is bound to miss the playoffs after starting the season as the hottest team in the league.
In addition to the 2nd round pick, they’re grabbing Chicago’s 1st round pick from the 2011 draft (26th overall) in Danault. He’ll be a RFA at the end of the season and just started grabbing his first serious NHL time this season. He’s played 30 games for Chicago, collecting a goal and four assists.
Last season, at age 22, he put up 13 goals and 38 points through 70 games for the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL.
“Phillip Danault is a young and gifted player who will be part of our core group of young forwards for many years to come,” general manager Marc Bergevin said of the trade. “I am very pleased to have him join our organization. As a member of the Blackhawks management group, I was instrumental in the selection of Phillip in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.”
In Danault’s limited NHL time he appeared to gain the favor of Joel Quenneville and showed that he can be a solid contributor on a depth line. There’s a good deal of potential there, though it’s certainly not guarantee that he can rise above being a third-line player.
He is joining the Canadiens tomorrow and won’t be assigned to the AHL.
With this move, Chicago adds some depth on the wings. The 27-year-old Weise has already logged a career-high 14 goals and is just three points shy of matching his career-best points total.
Fleischmann has put up 10 goals and 20 points over 57 games for Montreal. He comes to Chicago with experience and the ability to be a good depth player. However, this is the second year he will have been picked up as a deadline acquisition by a contending team. Last year, with Anaheim, it didn’t work out so well. Fleischmann failed to contribute much down the stretch and started the postseason as a healthy scratch.
Nonetheless, this pair gives the Blackhawks a significant upgrade on depth lines over Danault and Jiri Sekac, who are exiting the lineup. Sekac was waived on Friday and following the trades of the last two days, will almost certainly be assigned to AHL Rockford.
The duo also makes a shockingly small impact on the team’s salary cap, with Weise only costing $717,500 after retained salary and Fleischmann costing just $750,000, according to General Fanager.
Chicago has doled out quite a few draft picks in order to win now. They’ve dealt their 1st and 2nd round picks in the coming draft, their 3rd and 7th round picks in 2017 and their 2nd and 3rd round picks in 2018. However, they’ve had a lot of success with undrafted UFAs and that’s been able to help bridge the gap while they continue selling off picks in order to keep the winning going.
The Blackhawks were a serious contender before these moves. With these trades and the possible return of Marcus Kruger for a playoff run, it’s clear that general manager Stan Bowman is all-in on another Stanley Cup.
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