The NHL trade deadline came and went on Wednesday afternoon, and the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t make any moves as several players changed addresses.
“With the way the cap situation is this year, every team is tight against the cap, so in order to make moves, you have to trade money away, and we don’t have any players that we want to trade away,” Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman said in a press conference after the 2pm deadline came and went. “We aren’t looking to break it apart and bring in new players.”
Outside of a few minor trades over the weekend, including sending Brandon Pirri to the Florida Panthers and acquiring David Rundblad from the Phoenix Coyotes, the Hawks largely stood pat as they debated what to do in order to address various moves that their divisional opponents had made. The St. Louis Blues acquired Ryan Miller and Steve Ott last week, and the Minnesota Wild also made a move in acquiring goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
The Dallas Stars did trade away Stephane Robidas, but they also acquired Tim Thomas from the Panthers. Just after the deadline passed, it was revealed that the Wild had also acquired forward Matt Moulson from the Islanders, with the Avalanche also getting a player in goaltender Reto Berra, formerly of the Calgary Flames.
“We like our group here,” Bowman said of the team. “Most of the guys have been together for a long time. We have a lot of chemistry here, and everyone has a defined role here. Sometimes if you bring in someone else, it upsets the apple cart, and you have to spend a lot of time reassigning roles and finding ice time for players. We’ve had our group together here all season long, and we’re looking forward to a strong finish.”
Bowman did address the concerns some fans have about where Rundblad fits in on the roster for the Hawks, with the team not carrying eight defensemen and only 12 healthy forwards.
“David is a player we’ve tried to acquire for about a year now,” he said. “Finally, the other day it came up, and they were in a position to make a move. He’s a really talented player. He has excellent offensive skills. Sometimes a change of scenery can help a player like him. I think he has a lot of potential. With our style of play, we have the puck a lot, and that’s really what he does best.”