Blackhawks

Boden: Don't expect Kane to be dealt

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Boden: Don't expect Kane to be dealt

Patrick Kane's season -- and this Blackhawks slump -- has given fans, hosts, bloggers and analysts reason to throw his name out there as one big, fat piece of trade bait as the Feb. 27 deadline approaches.

But folks, despite a call by many that the organization needs to make a blockbuster move, it's not going to happen this season.

It's ironic that we haven't seen nearly as many pictures or rumors or innuendo about Kane off the ice this season, yet he's having the toughest season of his young career. He's been a team player this year more than any and hasn't gotten the rewards. The performance leads to more calls, and more finger-pointing, and certainly Kane's year has put his value under the microscope.

Jeremy Roenick's opinion that the Hawks might look into what they could get in return comes as a result of what he's put up -- or hasn't put up -- statistically compared to what some of the other "core" guys have done this season.

Kane's status as a face of the franchise and cornerstone for the future has not changed. Moving him would obviously involve a long, hard look at what he's capable of doing for another 15 years, the quality of what you get in return, how much of a long-term need whatever would come in return fills, and how they replace him in the lineup.

The wise-crackers this year would say he's easy to replace based on his stats. Another factor involves salaries coming and going. And, of course, the popular rumor -- a couple of years running now -- is sending Kane to his hometown for Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller.

There are other scenarios by all of us amateur GMs: Tim Thomas, Jonathan Bernier, Cam Ward. But your slam-dunk, No. 1, what-will-we-do-if-Corey-Crawford-gets-away-in-free-agency Fan Club of a year ago was served and the man with two more years left on his contract becomes...a backup? Traded to someone else? Providing what in return? There are many facets to this.

Right now, based on the lack of sellers and teams still feeling they're in the playoff race, the opinion here is Feb. 27 will have very few -- if any -- blockbusters throughout the NHL. The Blackhawks could've helped their trade deadline cause during this losing streak by beating the likes of Calgary, Colorado and Phoenix and get them thinking more as sellers than buyers.

It's not impossible, just don't hold your breath for those anxious to ship the guy who scored your Stanley Cup-clinching goal out of town for the sake of doing something and immediate gratification. Stan Bowman's not in line with J.R.'s thinking. Of course, he'd always listen. Just don't believe Kane will be aggressively shopped.

As I said on Chicago Tribune Live on Monday after our interview with Bowman, I just don't see any huge, imminent organizational earthquakes. But if this losing streak stretches to 12, 13, and beyond -- of course the folks in charge can change their minds with continued misery.

And as I also said on CTL that day: if this group doesn't regroup soon and misses the playoffs in a season of such huge expectations because of a massive collapse, everything gets re-evaluated. Upstairs, behind the bench and on the ice -- Kane and everyone else in uniform included.

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: