To quote Stuart MacKenzie, the Lyndon Larouche-following dad character from the 90s cult classic film ‘So I Married An Axe Murderer’: “Ehhhh . . . it could have been worse.”
Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman’s trade deadline balance sheet looks like the following:
RW Vinnie Hinostroza
RW Brett Connolly
D Riley Stillman
C/W Henrik Borgstrom
C/W Adam Gaudette
F Ryder Rolston
F Josh Dickinson
2021 second-round pick
2022 third-round pick
2021 fourth-round pick
2021 seventh-round pick
F Brad Morrison
F Lucas Wallmark
D Lucas Carlsson
F Matthew Highmore
C Carl Soderberg
C/W Mattias Janmark
D Madison Bowey
2021 fifth-round pick
2022 fifth-round pick
Net result: Positive, since the Hawks gave up absolutely nothing that is part of their long-term plan or even close to it, and acquired some projectable assets.
Caveat: While the same folks are doing the same “Big StanBo Victory Dance-a-thon” on Twitter this afternoon, if we are really being honest, the actual return here is, ahem, pretty conditional. Put another way, we know that all the “guys” than Bowman unloaded are nothing more than “guys.” But, we also know that:
- Hinostroza has historically been, well, a “guy”
- Connolly has been a disappointment much of his career and will very plausibly be wearing a Kraken sweater this summer
- No one has ever seen Stillman and Carlsson in the same room at the same time
- Vancouver thought Gaudette was worth losing for Highmore
- Rolston has been described in scouting reports as being defensively weak, a perimeter player and lacking high-level hockey sense. But, he is a Notre Dame guy, so, go Stan!
How this will play out: Fifth- and seventh-round draft picks are only slightly more statistically likely to play in the NHL than I am. But, Borgstrom (a 2016 first-round pick), and the second- and third-round picks Bowman acquired could each turn into something of value down the line. Similarly, statistically, many second- and third-rounders do not make it in the NHL (look no further than the Hawks’ own history in those rounds).
But, let’s say Borgstrom and one of those picks matriculate as solid contributors for the Hawks in say, middle- or bottom-six roles? Meh, okay, because in the larger perspective, Bowman gave up nothing he wanted to keep.
So, this trade deadline was overall a “win” for Bowman and the Hawks, but also not necessarily a big win—unless some combination of the picks and prospects Bowman acquired beat the odds, and exceed expectations and current projections.
All we have for now.