DALLAS – Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said there’s been the “average amount of chatter” between teams as the trade deadline approaches. But when it comes to tinkering with the Blackhawks, Bowman isn’t going to do anything to disrupt what they’ve done this season.
The trade deadline is April 3, and Bowman expects there will be some movement around that time, as there always is. But it’s unlikely there’ll be anything splashy. Why would there have to be? Entering Saturday night, the Blackhawks were 22-2-3 and atop the Western Conference. They’ve developed a great report, a great chemistry among themselves.
And Bowman doesn’t want to upset that at all.
“If we can get better I’m interested,” Bowman said prior to the Blackhawks’ game vs. the Dallas Stars. “We have a good thing going here. I’d like to add to the mix as opposed to trade players away. We would consider things that would give us an improved chance to win. But we’ve played very well. You have to give the guys credit as well as acknowledge that there’s a good thing going on with the group we have here. If we don’t end up making a trade, I’d be comfortable with the group we have here.”
The Blackhawks have a good amount of depth already, and being able to utilize it has helped them this season. Bowman said he wouldn’t mind adding some more depth, perhaps up the middle.
“Perhaps some center men, as a depth thing, in case you run into injuries,” he said. “Even with that, those guys have played pretty well. Marcus (Kruger) and (Andrew) Shaw have proven they’re legit players and they can handle the responsibility. So there’s really not one area that’s a glaring area of improvement.”
[MORE: Shaw feeling more comfortable in center role]
The Blackhawks have a good amount of talent in Rockford from which to delve, too. Jimmy Hayes is the latest to join the team, and will be playing in his second Blackhawks game of the season tonight. Bowman said others are close, including forwards Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin and defensemen Ryan Stanton and Adam Clendening.
“You’ve got a number of defensemen and forwards, so you’ve got depth internally as well, if we want to go that route as opposed to a trade.”
Bowman will be careful in what he adds, if anything, to the Blackhawks. They’ve been very good this season. There are no glaring issues. There could be something done, but it probably won’t be monumental and it’ll likely be close to deadline time.
“There are only a couple of teams looking to trade players and look to the future (right now). Everyone else is trying to decide, ‘Do I want to trade or do I want to acquire?’” Bowman said. “It’s probably going to come right down to the end, like it always does, before teams decide they’re looking to the future. I’ve had tons of conversations but nothing’s even close.”