With the Blackhawks sporting an 11-16-2 record, it’s pretty easy to tell that they are destined to be sellers. They have many players with expiring contracts, so we could see them make a lot of trades at the deadline. With that, they also have other young players who have been in the rumor mill, so the possibility of them being moved is there, too. Let’s take a gander at a handful of specific trade candidates from the Blackhawks.
When it comes to their rental candidates, there’s no question that Marc-Andre Fleury possesses the most value. Contenders who are in need of an upgrade in net will surely be considering the reigning Vezina Trophy winner. After a disastrous start to the season, the 37-year-old has since turned things around. In 20 appearances, he now has a 9-10-1 record, 2.86 goals-against average (GAA) and .913 save percentage.
It seems very likely that Fleury will retire at season’s end, as he openly flirted with it after being dealt to the Blackhawks last summer. If he wants that one last chance at a Stanley Cup, he could be open to a move. In terms of potential fits, one has to wonder if the Edmonton Oilers would be interested in him. Goaltending is their biggest issue and if Chicago retains some salary, perhaps they could make a deal work at the deadline.
Dylan Strome may be a restricted free agent this summer but it certainly feels probable that he will be dealt before the end of the season. The 24-year-old has been healthy scratched multiple times this season. With that, his production has fallen off a bit, as he has three goals and seven points in 21 games. At this point, it seems that the Blackhawks are having a hard time finding a permanent spot for him, so a deal could be on the way.
Even with his struggles, it’s fair to say that he does have a decent amount of trade value. Just two seasons ago, he had 12 goals and 38 points in 56 games. He also had 51 points in 58 contests immediately after joining Chicago the year before. With that, he also offers versatility, as he has experience playing all three forward positions at the NHL level. If the Blackhawks are able to land themselves another young player in return, it could be beneficial for them to move the former third-overall pick.
When it comes to the postseason, NHL teams love to add to their depth. One player who can offer that well is Ryan Carpenter. The 30-year-old forward is in the final year of his contract, so naturally, he is another rental candidate from Chicago. He works best in the bottom six and is capable of playing both center and right wing. Yet, if he were to be traded to a team looking to win a Stanley Cup, he may be better off as their 13th forward.
For a player who is due for a new contract next summer, Carpenter hasn’t been off to the hottest of starts this campaign. In 28 games, he has three assists to go along with a minus-5 rating. Yes, those numbers aren’t jaw-dropping but he was a part of the Vegas Golden Knights run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018. With that, he also can be utilized on the penalty kill because of his solid defensive play. Although he may only net Chicago a late-round pick, there should be teams interested.
Frank Seravalli recently noted that the Blackhawks are open to the idea of moving Henrik Borgstrom. This may be surprising to some as they just acquired him from the Florida Panthers in April of last year. With this, they also signed him to a two-year, S2 million contract shortly after. However, like Strome, he’s had trouble cementing himself a permanent role in the lineup.
In 18 games this campaign, Borgstrom has two goals, two assists, and a minus-3 rating. It’s fair to say that those numbers are a little disappointing from the 2016 first-round pick. As a member of the Panthers during the 2018-19 season, he had eight goals and 18 points in 50 games. Yet, since then, he hasn’t been able to get near that kind of production in the NHL. If dealt by Chicago, perhaps a change of scenery could help the Helsinki native find his previous form.
Calvin de Haan
It’s been a very hard season for Calvin de Haan thus far. In 27 games, he has just one assist and a minus-12 rating. When seeing as how he just had 10 points in 44 games with the team last season, this is a notable dip in production. However, due to the fact that his contract expires next season, we could see some teams willing to acquire him for depth.
When looking at the rise of COVID-19 cases around the league, teams will be looking for extra insurance. With that, de Haan also comes with an abundance of NHL experience, so that could intrigue other franchises, too. Yet, due to his hard year, the Blackhawks wouldn’t receive much of anything in a hypothetical swap.
Two honorable mentions should also go out to defenseman Erik Gustafsson and goaltender Kevin Lankinen. Both are set to be unrestricted free agents during the offseason as well. It will be interesting to see just how many trades the Blackhawks make as we inch closer to the trade deadline. Don’t be surprised to see multiple players on this list go.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks for The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he’s written and edited for numerous websites. Besides his work for THW, you can also find him on NHLTradeRumors.me, BBallRumors.com, BaseballRumors.me, FootballRumors.me and The Rat Trick.