The Chicago Blackhawks have played better as of late. That’s good considering they were in last place for a solid portion of last week. This Hawks team is young and needs time to gel together. However, that didn’t stop General Manager Stan Bowman from making a surprising trade on Wednesday afternoon.
It's Richard Panik and Laurent Dauphin for Anthony Duclair and Adam Clendening.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) January 10, 2018
Panik started the season hot but hadn’t scored a goal in the last 27 games prior to Tuesday night’s game. He also carried a cap hit of $2.8 Million and was in the first year of a two-year, $5.6 million deal. Again, that is a lot of money for a guy who didn’t score in almost three months.
What to Make of This Move?
Over the past couple months, the Hawks have gotten younger and faster. Don’t believe me, take a look for yourself.
All those guys are 25 or younger
And they said the window was closing pic.twitter.com/jeH2zBjvmX
— Chief (@BarstoolChief) January 11, 2018
That’s impressive and the Hawks front office deserves credit for the revamp of the roster. This move was not only about getting younger, it was about acquiring a young player with tremendous upside.
Anthony Duclair has potential as a forward but has struggled with the Coyotes. His play is best described as inconsistent, which is something many young players in NHL are guilty of. The hope is a change of scenery can help Duclair get things going in the positive direction.
Last season in 81 games, Duclair had career highs in goals (20), assists (24) and points (44). That right there tells us he can play in the NHL. He just needs to find his game. Hopefully, the right coaching and talent on the Hawks can get him going.
Both teams in this trade got players who have struggled a lot this season. I like this move for the Hawks because they got younger and now have more cap space to make a trade for a defenseman. I’m sure this won’t be the last trade Bowman makes before the deadline, especially if the Hawks continue to play well and move up in the standings.