This is a good thing. This is a great thing.
ChicagoBlackhawks.com is reporting that the Hawks have traded defenseman Magnus Johansson to the Florida Panthers for a late round draft choice in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
I consider this a steal! I know we have been very short on defensemen especially as of late, but I welcome this move with open arms. It shows that Dale Tallon has his head on straight and really knows how to improve this team even if it is addition by subtraction. Johansson is not a NHL caliber defenseman and doesn't seem that he will be able to raise his game to that level in the future.
Also, the Hawks announced today that they have signed defenseman Brent Sopel to a 3-year contract extension. I think that these moves are related and it probably means that we will see Sopel on the ice this weekend maybe as soon as tonight. Sopel has been solid for the Hawks this season with the second highest plus/minus rating (+10) for defensemen. He was a training camp casualty when the Wings gave up on him in September and it seems as though he has something to prove this year.
I'm excited to see another piece of the puzzle get back on the ice very soon. He is needed badly and it will be soon enough we'll see Sop and Wisniewski back on the blue line together.