The Chicago Blackhawks are reportedly shopping Trevor van Riemsdyk, though it doesn’t sound as if a deal is imminent
The last time we heard about the Chicago Blackhawks trying to trade for someone, forward Nail Yakupov had an outside shot at coming to the Windy City. It sounded as though Edmonton and Chicago were close to getting a deal done … until the St. Louis Blues swooped in and grabbed Yakupov just before the regular season began.
But general manager Stan Bowman is always looking for ways to improve his team. With that in mind, we get news from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that the Blackhawks are taking inquiries for defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk.
This is some interesting news. Coach Joel Quenneville is a big TVR fan, as evidenced by the 25-year-old making the opening night roster despite a pretty bad training camp and a rough 2015-16 season prior to that.
But after TVR’s hideous season debut in the Blackhawks’ opener last week, he’s been nowhere to be found as far as the starting lineup. And now the Blackhawks appear to have other plans for him.
What are the Blackhawks seeking for TVR?
Friedman says the Blackhawks want a forward. That’s all the information we’ve got at this time.
The Blackhawks are still trying to settle their starting lineup, with various guys making some contributions at this point but not everything totally clicking. So the Blackhawks may be looking for a veteran presence to bolster the ranks. Or they may be looking for a younger guy who’s on the outs with his current team — like a Richard Panik with Toronto type.
The Blackhawks are unable to send TVR to the AHL without him having to pass through waivers. And the Blackhawks would clearly rather try to get something for TVR and set their roster in a different way — perhaps with 14 forwards instead of eight defensemen.
The key thing for the Blackhawks would be to get someone they can fit under the salary cap, if the plan is to acquire an NHL-ready athlete. Chicago has next to no cap space, with TVR’s potential movement only taking $825,000 off the books.
What would the Blackhawks have to give up?
I can’t imagine any team doing a one-for-one deal involving TVR and an NHL-ready forward unless that team has really soured on the forward or is really hopeful about TVR. Friedman has said the Blackhawks may need to “sweeten the pot” to get TVR out of town.
My first thought here would be Mark McNeill tagging along for the ride. His name came up when the Blackhawks were trying to secure Yakupov. TVR and McNeill both seem on the outs with Chicago at this point, so why not package them?
TVR has noticeable downsides, but he also had some upsides. He blocks shots and jumps in on offensive plays a fair amount for a blueliner. Some teams would see value in that (that Blackhawks clearly did). McNeill’s potential is still untapped (whatever it may be), as the Blackhawks haven’t had him in the NHL for more than one game.
My guess would be Bowman is going to be hunting for a draft pick in addition to some sort of warm body. With next year’s draft in Chicago, Bowman is going to want to stockpile picks. He’s been doing so up until now.
Which teams might be interested in TVR?
This is an interesting question, and I don’t know the answer. While there are teams that you could say need defensive help, I’m not sure how much of that TVR truly offers.
Edmonton has expressed interest in TVR before. Ottawa’s defense is as bad early this season as it was all of last season. Edmonton and Calgary have both shown poor defenses thus far.
I can’t imagine Bowman moving TVR within the division, and I’m not sure any of the Central Division’s teams outside Winnipeg would really be interested in him.
So there are a lot of variables in play and so much guesswork on the table. But it sounds like we may be reaching the end of TVR’s time in Chicago. He may see some more action soon, just to try and pop his trade stock a bit, but he could also be gone for good just as quickly.