Monday, Feb. 28, 2011
Posted: 9:54 a.m. Updated: 11:45 a.m.
By Chris Boden
Four hours prior to the NHL's 2 p.m. (Chicago time) trade deadline, it's not a big surprise things have gone slowly around the league. We're for the most part, standing still with teams bottle-necked in Hillside on the inbound Ike for the move or two that'll open things up. Save for Radek Dvorak moving from Florida for Niclas Bergfors & Patrick Rismiller, nothing's happened since St. Louis shipped Brad Boyes to Buffalo last night. But every year, the action picks up over these final hours.
Stan Bowman continues working the phones with an even more urgent need for a defenseman after Jordan Hendry went down with a lower body injury last night. Joel Quenneville said more details should be known today. After needing help from two people to get off the ice, the eye test tells you it's an injury that needs weeks more than days to heal. With Nick Boynton gone and John Scott the only player on the present roster who's played defense before, other teams know they can hike up the price to do business. The GM has said he isn't interested in dealing anyone off the current roster, leaving the Hawks with between 1-12 and 2 million of salary cap space to add to their roster, prorated to about a quarter-season of any player's salary.
Atlanta's Mark Stuart appears to be off the potential acquisition list after the Thrashers recently acquired him from Boston. TSN's Bob McKenzie reports this morning he's on the verge of signing a three-year extension. Save for Colorado (Matt Hunwick?) and Edmonton (Ladislav Smid?) don't expect anyone from the West to help the Hawks out, particularly with just about everyone else still in contention. While the Blues now appear to be sellers, you wouldn't think they'd want to help a division rival's cause. From that standpoint, options have dwindled, at least until some more dominoes start to fall today.
We'll keep you updated throughout the day as things happen, yours truly here in Chicago, and Tracey Myers in Minnesota. Bowman is expected to remain unavailable to the media until he arrives at the Xcel Energy Center prior to tonight's game with the Wild.
Trade Winds? Not Even a Gentle Breeze
Approaching two hours ahead of the NHL trade deadline, Dale Tallon and the Florida Panthers have been the only busy team. It hasn't been the Booths and Weisses who've been sent packing, but Radek Dvorak and Dennis Wideman, and both went to fellow Eastern Conference teams (Atlanta and Washington, respectively). While that may be great if Stan Bowman would want to go back and get Marty Reasoner to help up the middle and on the penalty kill, defensive help remains elusive at this point. He and the Blackhawks are up against many other contenders seeking the same thing, with more salary cap space, and perhaps with more to offer besides minor leaguers and draft picks, or at least high draft picks. Thus far, nibbles haven't turned to bites. The longer it goes, the more likely it is that something will open up, but a couple of more deals would have to happen first.
Bowman said prior to Jordan Hendry's injury last night he'd be confident with his present team going forward, based on the progress they've been making, but the blue line got even thinner since. At this point, however, no one else in the West has gotten better, either, in hat's been a quiet countdown to 2 p.m. so far.
Chris Boden is the host of Blackhawks Pre and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet.