Chicago Blackhawks: What's the Plan at the Trade Deadline?

Jon FromiSenior Analyst IMarch 5, 2014

Might Patrick Kane have a new center by the end of the day?
Might Patrick Kane have a new center by the end of the day?Reed Saxon/Associated Press

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has been consistent in his strategy at the trade deadline. With just hours to go before this year's cutoff, we can only speculate on how active the 'Hawks will be Wednesday.

Taking Bowman at his word, of course, means having to accept that the roster is set and Bowman will not do much, if anything at all, to improve his club. As quoted by Chicago Tribune writer Rich Campbell last week: "We're not focused on the deadline. We're happy with the team we have."

Bowman did make a deal Tuesday, sending his second-round selection in this summer's draft to Phoenix in exchange for defensemen David Rundblad and Mathieu Brisebois. Brisebois was assigned to Rockford while the 23-year-old Rundblad is now on Chicago's roster.

This is where you could make a case for Bowman doing more that simply riding out Wednesday without making a move.

The 'Hawks sent Michael Kostka through waivers last month with hopes of sending him to Rockford once he cleared. Kostka was claimed by the Lightning instead.

Eight defensemen on the roster doesn't jibe with Bowman's strategy of trimming the blue line down just more than a week ago. If Bowman is bringing aboard another defenseman, could that mean one of the current group is marked for a trade?

Bowman really values his draft picks. It doesn't seem likely he would surrender a second rounder for a player he didn't think he'd need. Rundblad is now in his fourth organization but was a first-round selection by the Blues in 2009.

He could be a reclamation project, or Rundblad could serve as insurance in case a deal comes Bowman's way.

Wednesday could progress in a number of different ways. For example:


Bowman swings for the fences

Bowman sees a chance to pick up an impact player (presumably a second-line center), takes a deep breath and goes for a home run deal. He packages, say, Nick Leddy, Jeremy Morin and a high pick and trolls for a true partner in crime for Patrick Kane on the second line.

I would think there is little chance of this happening. It is fun to consider, but such bravado just isn't Bowman's style.


Bowman does nothing

We could take Bowman at his word and figure that he has the roster where he likes it after adding Kris Versteeg in November and Peter Regin last month. Wednesday comes and goes and nothing changes.

The 'Hawks go back to an awkward three-man rotation at the sixth defense spot and deal with not having Marian Hossa in the lineup for a few weeks.


Bowman tweaks the roster, but that's all

This is the most likely scenario, though this move may have come a few weeks ago when he picked up Regin. Possibly, Bowman finds a role player he thinks could come in handy and snaps him up with a late pick and one of his Rockford prospects.

With the trade deadline of 3:00 p.m. EST approaching rapidly, we can sit back and see what Bowman chooses to do Wednesday. By this afternoon, we will see if Bowman pulls off a big deal, a minor trade or no move at all.