Blackhawks

Andrew Desjardins reflects on unexpected trade to Blackhawks

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Andrew Desjardins reflects on unexpected trade to Blackhawks

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Andrew Desjardins didn’t expect anything to happen last trade deadline; he figured the day would come and go and he’d still be with the San Jose Sharks.

He certainly got a surprise when the deadline rolled around and he was sent to the Blackhawks in exchange for Ben Smith. But as with most surprises, it turned out to be a good one.

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Desjardins lifted his first Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks last June as part of a dependable fourth line with Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger. Making his second trip to the Bay Area since that deal, Desjardins reflected on what it felt like to win the Cup for the first time.

“Just that whole process of it was outstanding. Just how much hard work, how much of a roller coaster, up-and-down [there is] in the playoffs, to raise it was just one of those deep-breath moments,” Desjardins said. “It was just an amazing feeling to have your family down there, everyone who’s been your backbone throughout your career. To share that with them was amazing.”

Desjardins got back into the lineup in Calgary after being a healthy scratch for three games prior to that. When Desjardins was first told he was traded from San Jose, it wasn’t easy. He’d spent most of his professional career with the Sharks, playing with the minor-league affiliate in Worcester before getting called up for good in the 2010-11 season.

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“Yeah, obviously it was tough being here for the time that I was, 4-5 years, good years and with a good group of guys. I was fortunate that a lot of the guys were the same guys for that whole time, the coaching staff, as well. It made it difficult; I wasn’t expecting it to happen,” he said. “But obviously coming to another good team was an amazing feeling as well. After the dust settled about the trade, you’re going to a good team and that was an awesome feeling as well.”

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: