Blackhawks

Blackhawks trade Bryan Bickell, Teuvo Teravainen to Hurricanes

Blackhawks trade Bryan Bickell, Teuvo Teravainen to Hurricanes

The Blackhawks were looking for a way to unload Bryan Bickell’s contract, but it was going to probably cost them more than that. On Wednesday, they made that deal.

Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen were traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a second-round pick (50th overall) in this year’s NHL draft and a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft.

Bickell had one year remaining (a $4 million cap hit) on the four-year, $16 million deal he signed out of the 2013 Stanley Cup season. Teravainen is entering the final year of his deal ($894,166).

The Blackhawks now have approximately $61.8 million tied up in players for next season, according to generalfanager.com. Bowman said at the team’s closing meetings that he wanted to keep Andrew Shaw in the fold. Artemi Panarin, who had a fantastic rookie season with the Blackhawks, would become a restricted free agent following the 2017-18 season. Trading Bickell and Teravainen could give the Blackhawks the chance to keep both.

Teravainen was coming off a great 2015 postseason but he struggled this past regular season. He was moved around the lineup plenty, and at the trade deadline general manager Stan Bowman said he acquired Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann to give Teravainen the chance to settle in at third-line center. But that never materialized.

The 21-year-old Teravainen is entering the final year of his entry-level deal.

“We wish him well and it was a tough deal from that perspective when you have to give up a young player. By the same token, I like the fact that we’re acquiring some draft picks in this draft. And when we host the draft, the goal is to keep this thing going and have young players coming in,” Bowman said of Teravainen. “Even though Teuvo is young, it’s hard when you have young guys who are entering the final year of his first contract and then things get tricky when players get raises. We’re always looking for that next way.”

Bickell had a tremendous 2013 postseason, leading to him signing his current deal. But his play has steadily declined over the past three seasons. It reached a head last season when Bickell was sent to the Rockford IceHogs twice. After his first stint, on which he put up great offensive numbers, Bickell was recalled by the Blackhawks. But he didn’t get the same results in Chicago and was sent back to Rockford.

Will this end up being good or bad the Blackhawks? The biggest plus is it gives them the cap space they certainly needed. It also gives them a second-round pick this season (prior to this, they didn’t have a selection until the third round) and a third-round pick in 2017. But will trading Teravainen, specifically, be costly? Maybe what we saw in his game last season wasn’t just a blip; maybe he’s not going to be the player the Blackhawks hoped he would be. But if Teravainen gets his game back to the 2015 postseason level, it will be the Hurricanes’ boon.

The Blackhawks had some needs, especially with money. The salary cap may not be rising much this coming season. If they wanted to keep Shaw and Panarin, they had to make a big move to do so. Now they’ll see if it ends up being worth it.

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

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AP

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

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?