Chicago Blackhawks load up for run at 2nd straight Cup
CHICAGO (AP) The Blackhawks are going all in to win their second straight Stanley Cup.
Following three trades on Thursday and Friday that brought four veteran players to Chicago, the Blackhawks seem as deep and experienced as ever as they try to capture their fourth championship in seven years.
''I slept a little better last night,'' general manager Stan Bowman said Saturday morning before his team practiced. ''I really like the way this team looks right now. I'm excited to get on the ice and play.''
On Friday night, the Blackhawks acquired forwards Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise from the Montreal Canadiens for forward Phillip Danault and a second-round pick in the 2018 draft.
That move will give Chicago added depth at forward below its top two lines, a pair of trios featuring marquee stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, plus rookie sensation Artemi Panarin.
''That was the prime motivation,'' Bowman said of the deal with the slumping Canadiens.
The trade followed the swap of veteran defensemen earlier in the day, with the Blackhawks acquiring Christian Ehrhoff from Los Angeles and sending Rob Scuderi to the Kings.
On Thursday night, the Blackhawks acquired Winnipeg winger and captain Andrew Ladd, a member of Chicago's 2010 championship team, in a trade that shipped top prospect Marko Dano and two draft picks to the Jets.
At least three of the four new players are expected to be on the ice when the Blackhawks, third in the NHL with 81 points, host league-leading Washington on Sunday. Bowman said Weise was facing immigration issues that might delay his arrival.
Bowman has been the NHL's busiest GM as the league's trade deadline, on Monday at 3 p.m. ET, approaches.
''We're just trying to do what we can to help our team win,'' he said. ''Sometimes the moves are there to help your team and I think this year we clearly had some pieces we thought would give us a better chance.
''We were able to make it happen.''