While it was nice to see the Chicago Blackhawks end their losing streak on Saturday night, it, unfortunately, didn’t change things in the playoff picture. As an organization, the Hawk should still be sellers at this year’s trade deadline and general manager Stan Bowman backed that up when he traded defenseman Michal Kempny on Monday afternoon.
Kempny was traded to the Washington Capitals for a 2018 third round draft pick. The pick was ‘conditional,’ meaning the Hawks will get the higher of the Capitals’ third-round picks.
The Hawks will need to continue to make moves like this to other contenders around the NHL. Stockpiling draft picks is never a bad idea. The return for Kempny was better than expected–he was going to become an RFA at the end of this season and didn’t have much of a future in Chicago.
When asked about the trade while leaving the United Center, Kempny didn’t have much to say.
“I don’t know, I’m a little bit shaking now. It’s my first trade. I spend here almost two seasons. I like people around here. A lot of people have helped me a lot, and I really appreciate it.”
Sure, the initial shock of the trade would surprise anyone, but this was a move many of us could see coming. Kempny has been a disappointment since coming to Chicago. In fact, the entire defense as a unit has been downright awful at times this season. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Hawks decided to revamp the entire unit.
Like a lot of the Hawks d-men, Kempny had all the physical skill in the world. Hell, he had a great shot too, but he failed to consistently make the right decision with the puck. In hockey, turnovers will kill you. Hopefully, a change of scenery will help Kempny.
In 31 games this season, Kempny has one goal and six assists while averaging 15:19 of ice time per game.
Again, the Hawks got way more than what Kempny should have commanded on the open market given he’s set to become a free agent. At the end of the day, this trade was good for both parties involved.
Bowman and the rest of the Hawks’ front office need to continue to make moves like this one. If I were the Hawks, I would try to move everyone except Toews and Kane. Yes, that does include Brandon Saad, but I don’t think the Hawks would get value for him at this point. It makes sense for them to hold onto him for, at least, another season.
Things are going to get interesting and keep it here at the Loop Sports for all your Blackhawks coverage.