GM Stan Bowman: Blackhawks add pieces that 'could help us now'


GM Stan Bowman: Blackhawks add pieces that 'could help us now'

The move was made primarily to help ease the Blackhawks’ salary-cap issues, the problems we all knew they were going to have entering the 2015-16 season.

But when Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman traded Patrick Sharp he said he wanted to get players who could help this team now, not later.

The Blackhawks acquired defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt in the deal that sent Sharp and defenseman Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars on Friday night. For Bowman, who said he took “countless phone calls” over the last several weeks, this deal worked for the Blackhawks.

“Sometimes when you make trades of players who make a lot of money, you’re trying to get picks or prospects back. The key is to make our team better," Bowman said. "Obviously we’re trading away a good player. But this wasn’t trying to just get things that would help us down the road. We like our team as it is. We think we have a strong group of guys coming back that led us to the Cup a month ago. That was really the thing we talked about when in discussions with Dallas, trying to get something that could help us now.”

[MORE: Blackhawks trade Patrick Sharp to Dallas Stars]

What the Blackhawks get now is a veteran defenseman in Daley, who was with the Stars since the 2003-04 season. Daley recorded career highs in goals (16), assists (22) and points (38) in 68 games last season.

“He scored is last two years in Dallas, nine and 16 goals, so he’s on an uptick with his offensive game,” Bowman said. “In today’s game, having someone from the back end who can score at that rate is a nice weapon to have. We’ve always marveled at Trevor’s ability to skate. He’s a very active player, involved in the play. He’ll be a great fit for the style of hockey we play here.”

So does that mean there’s no chance that Johnny Oduya re-signs with the Blackhawks? It never seemed like a great possibility — the Blackhawks needed to fix their cap issues before they even thought about re-signing the defenseman. With Daley now here, it seems unlikely Oduya returns. But Bowman wouldn’t completely dismiss the possibility.

“I’m not going to rule anything out or in. It’s still sort of a fluid situation and there are a lot of factors at play,” Bowman said. “We’re getting closer to a point where we can say, ‘This is our team,’ but we’re not there yet. There have been some discussions on different things, but I can’t characterize it as more than that.”

Johns was expected to be a part of the Blackhawks’ defense when the regular season opened. Now, he’s headed to Dallas. It was a tough player to part with for Bowman, “but sometimes it’s required to make a deal.”

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“I do like that we have a number of prospects in our system that we’re still high on,” Bowman said. “We have a number of Swedish defensemen; they’re not over here in North America but their development is coming along nicely. We have others over here already who have made a positive impact.”

In Garbutt, the Blackhawks get a player who could fill a checking-line role. Garbutt had just eight goals in 67 games last season but had 17 goals in 75 games the previous season.

The Blackhawks knew the financial situation they were in and knew Sharp was a likely casualty of that cap problem. They wanted to get something in return, and something that could help them in the present. They’re hoping they got that.

“Obviously it’s difficult trading away an established player like Patrick Sharp and a good young player like Johns. But we wanted to continue to add pieces that can contribute next season,” Bowman said. “We’re excited for that.”

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

After staying out of the public eye since his historic emergency relief appearance, Scott Foster emerged in Vegas at the NHL Awards and it was perfect. 

The 36-year-old accountant fittingly presented the Vezina Trophy award for the league's top goaltender and joked that he needed to speed it up because he had to get back to work.

Check him out on stage:

What a moment. And well done, NHL. 

Foster stopped all seven shots he faced in 14:01 of action in the Blackhawks' 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 30.

Nashville Predators netminder Pekke Rinne took home the award, but you can't argue against Foster's 1.000 career save percentage.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.