Blackhawks trade Ryan Hartman to Predators in first deadline deal

Blackhawks trade Ryan Hartman to Predators in first deadline deal

It's no secret that the Blackhawks were going to be sellers ahead of Monday's trade deadline, but maybe not to the degree Chicago anticipated.

The Blackhawks made their first deadline deal of the day, trading Ryan Hartman and a fifth-round pick in 2018 to the Nashville Predators in exchange for forward prospect Victor Ejdsell, a first-round pick in 2018 and fourth-rounder in 2018.

"It’s a good opportunity for him, going to a team with a chance to win and going as far as they did last year, I’m sure they’re excited about getting a guy like Hartsy," Joel Quenneville said. "He gives you some competitiveness, and certainly from our point of view, you wish him well and you thank him for what he did for us.

"It’s part of our business. I think it would’ve been tough for him leaving Chicago, but at the same time, he’s got to be excited about the chance where he’s going."

Hartman has 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 57 games this season, and is coming off a campaign in which he scored 19 goals and totaled 31 points in his first full-time season in the NHL. He is a pending restricted free agent, and could command up to $2 million per year.

Ejdsell was reportedly on the Blackhawks' radar last summer but he ended up signing a two-year entry-level deal with the Predators. He's a 23-year-old, big-bodied forward at 6-foot-5, 214 pounds, that is a natural center but can also play wing.

He led the Swedish Allvenskan in points (57) during the 2016-17 season in 50 games with Bofors IK, and was named the league's MVP. He also had four goals and three assists in 10 playoff games.

Ejdsell continued his development in the Swedish Hockey League, where he has 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists) in 44 games with HV71 this season. 

The Blackhawks also traded Tommy Wingels to the Boston Bruins for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2019. It becomes a fourth-rounder if the Bruins advance past the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs or if Wingels re-signs.

The Blackhawks have eight draft picks in 2018: two first-rounders, two third-rounders and each in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.

Monday night, Hartman tweeted his reaction to the trade:

Life was a lot different last time the Blackhawks missed the playoffs

Life was a lot different last time the Blackhawks missed the playoffs

For the first time in a decade, the Blackhawks officially will not be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night at the United Center, the Blackhawks will be sitting at home mid-April instead of looking to add to their trophy case.

Exactly 366 days before, the Blackhawks actually became the first NHL team to clinch a playoff berth, also the result of a game against the Avs:

The last time the Blackhawks missed the playoffs, Denis Savard was the coach and Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were just 19 years old in the midst of their rookie seasons.

The next year, Joel Quenneville took over as coach after four games and led the Blackhawks all the way to the Conference Finals.

Of course, the following year (2009-10 season) brought the first of three Stanley Cups.

For perspective on how incredible this stretch has been for the Blackhawks, here's how the other professional Chicago sports teams spent 2008:

—The Bears finished 9-7 in Matt Forte's rookie year (he's since retired) with Kyle Orton as the starting quarterback and Lovie Smith as head coach.

—The Cubs led the National League in runs scored en route to a 97-win regular season...before falling flat against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. Lou Piniella was still the manager and Theo Epstein was still three years away from coming to Chicago.

—The Bulls found some incredible luck, pulling the No. 1 overall pick and selecting Chicago native Derrick Rose. He helped the Bulls to a 41-41 season as a rookie under coach Vinny Del Negro.

—The White Sox lost to Joe Maddon and the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS after winning the AL Central under manager Ozzie Guillen. Carlos Quentin enjoyed a breakout season (36 HR, 100 RBI) while Gavin Floyd won 17 games. 

The Blackhawks still have eight games left before the 2017-18 season ends April 7.

Alex DeBrincat records third career hat trick, but Blackhawks lose to Blues in overtime

Alex DeBrincat records third career hat trick, but Blackhawks lose to Blues in overtime

For Alex DeBrincat, it was probably nice to hear Chelsea Dagger again.

But how about three times?

The 20-year-old rookie snapped out of a 13-game scoring drought in a big way on Sunday night, recording his third hat trick of the season. DeBrincat did all he could to help give the Blackhawks two points, but they only came away with one in a 5-4 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues.

DeBrincat is now the first rookie in franchise history with three hat tricks in the same season, passing Steve Larmer. His last two hat tricks came against the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 27, 2017 and Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 25.

"It's pretty cool," DeBrincat said of his third hat trick, "but I wouldn't be able to do that without the guys we have in this locker room and the linemates I've had. Most credit to them."

Entering Sunday, his last goal was on Feb. 17 against the Washington Capitals.

"Obviously it's frustrating when you go through a slump that like that but what I've learned is to stay positive and there's other things you can help your team win with," DeBrincat said. "Just kind of focus on those things."

He netted goals No. 23, 24 and 25 on the season, tying Patrick Kane for the team lead. He is also tied for second among goals scored by a rookie this season.

DeBrincat opened the scoring with nice wrist shot on the power play to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead midway through the first. With less than a minute to go in the period, he tapped one home in front of the net to make it 2-0.

In the third period with the game tied at 3-3, DeBrincat put his team in front 4-3 with 3:13 left in regulation. 

“We were talking about [DeBrincat] today, it had been a while since he had scored," coach Joel Quenneville said. "But whether he scores or not, he does a lot of good things in the game, and he’s very aware of his positioning, and doing the right things, finding pucks, getting in shooting lanes, or denying passing lanes. So he’s effective in a lot of ways, but nice to see him score a nice power-play goal today.”

But Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo even things up again after a shot from the point found its way past J-F Berube with 1:22 left. Patrik Berglund would net the game-winner in overtime to hand the Blackhawks a loss.

"I feel like we’ve played well and we just came up a little bit short," DeBrincat said. "I feel like that’s been the theme of this whole season.”