The Chicago Blackhawks officially began their rebuild when they traded young forward Brandon Hagel along with two fourth-round picks to the Tampa Bay Lightning. They landed themselves a fantastic return, as they added Tampa’s 2023 and 2024 first-round picks, Boris Katchouk, and Taylor Raddysh. Although they will miss having the Saskatoon native on their roster, this is about as good of a return as they could have gotten for him. However, this could be just the beginning of the team’s fire sale, as trade rumors are swirling in regards to several of their players.
Besides the Blackhawks having a plethora of rental candidates, their big-name players are even being brought up in trade talks. Let’s now discuss some of what’s being said during the league’s busiest time of the year.
If One Star Forward Goes, Another Could Follow
According to Brian Lawton, if one of Patrick Kane or Alex DeBrincat gets traded, the other will be moved as well. The 1983 first-overall pick did not specify when exactly these potential blockbusters could occur, but it certainly has raised plenty of eyebrows around the league. With the Blackhawks trading Hagel for that massive return and general manager (GM) Kyle Davidson committing to a rebuild, it doesn’t seem out of the question.
In speaking with a few clubs clear they are watching Patrick Kane situation closely to see if the trade of Hagel changes the equation. If Kane goes expect DeBrincat to go or if DeBrincat goes expect Kane to follow! Things are getting interesting! 🔥🤯 @NHLNetwork— Brian Lawton (@brianlawton9) March 18, 2022
If Lawton is correct and these two are officially made available, they certainly would get plenty of trade offers. DeBrincat has emerged into a top-of-the-line sniper over the last few years, and this season is no different. In 62 games, he has 34 goals to go along with 21 assists. Kane, on the other hand, just will not let Father Time catch him, as he has 19 goals and 50 assists in 58 games. Needless to say, if either of these two eventually get dealt, the Blackhawks would need to receive an assortment of first-round picks and top prospects.
Kane Has Full Control Over Future With Organization
Although Lawton reported this, any trade involving Kane would not occur until at least the offseason. Even though the Blackhawks have traded Hagel, he has told his teammates that he is not ready to be traded at this time, according to David Pagnotta. Thankfully for him, this takes away any chance of him being traded before the deadline, as he carries a no-movement clause.
However, when we get to the offseason, the Blackhawks are expected to have conversations with Kane about his future with the organization. With the team embarking on a full rebuild, he is exactly the kind of veteran who the team would likely be open to trading, as he would land them a massive return. However, any move centering around him will have to be approved by him first. At this juncture, that is the biggest obstacle restricting this specific blockbuster from occurring.
Trading DeBrincat Brings Up Debate
Unlike Kane, DeBrincat can be moved at any time. The 24-year-old does not possess a no-movement clause, so he’s much easier to trade than the former. He certainly has an appealing contract, as he carries a $6.4 million annual cap hit until the end of the 2022-23 campaign and will be a restricted free agent (RFA) once it expires. Thus, any team that acquired him in a blockbuster would still have complete control over him.
Although the Blackhawks are selling, they should think very carefully about DeBrincat’s future with the team. Scorers of his ability do not come around all too often. With him still being so young, he could be a major part of their rebuild. However, one could also argue that the team should trade him if it gives them a massive return. When seeing as how Hagel got them two first-round picks, they would get an even more ridiculous package for their top goal-scorer.
Blackhawks and Wild Talking Big Trade
Marc-Andre Fleury has been linked to several teams this deadline season. Teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs have been pursuing him heavily and even rejected a massive trade offer that included him and Hagel. However, one team that has now entered the mix is the Minnesota Wild. According to Elliotte Friedman, the two teams are currently engaged in trade talks regarding the future Hall of Famer.
Not sure where this will go, but hearing CHI & MIN have had conversations about Marc-Andre Fleury. Something to keep an eye on.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 19, 2022
The Wild have been very active as of late, as they acquired Tyson Jost and Nicolas Deslauriers already. Those are two solid additions for the postseason, but it’s clear that they are looking for an upgrade in net to help their chances of winning the Stanley Cup. Cam Talbot is their starter and has mixed results this season, as he has a 24-12-1 record, 2.92 goals-against average (GAA), and .907 save percentage (SV%). Kaapo Kahkonen, on the other hand, has a 12-8-3 record, 2.87 GAA, and .910 SV%. Thus, neither have been necessarily bad, but they also haven’t been particularly reliable, either. Thus, it makes sense that they want to add the reigning Vezina Trophy winner.
Nevertheless, the Blackhawks could have not only a very busy trade deadline but also a busy offseason. The rebuild is officially upon them, and it will be intriguing to see what occurs with these three big-name players from here.
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.