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Chicago Blackhawks Trade Values: Part 1

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Not all players are under trade consideration for the Chicago Blackhawks. In fact, most aren't. But that's not going to stop us from looking at how valuable each member on the roster is to the team. This list represents No. 23 through No. 11.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Each year, typically during the offseason in advance of the regular season getting underway, the folks over at Grantland take a look at some of the most notable players across the NFL or NBA and examine trade values for those players. Judged on a multitude of factors, the goal is simply to assess how valuable some of the best athletes on Earth are to their respective teams. The goal here is to take that same spirit and add some Chicago Blackhawks flavor to it. This list will represent about half of the players on the Blackhawks' current roster. The top 10 will be evaluated in a separate feature.

There are multiple factors to consider here. Rules, if you will. In keeping with the previous formula utilized by those that have done this in the past, that group will include:

  • Contracts -  Value can be determined by how much or how little a player makes, whether they're overpaid, underpaid, etc. For example, a player on his entry-level deal could have more value than someone on his second contract if he's outplaying that player. He's giving his club a strong performance on a dime. Impending status as a restricted/unrestricted free agent is also a consideration. Contracts are definitely to be considered.
  • Position - Some positions are more valuable than others. Certain spots feature fewer elite players across the league, and some represent a relatively easy spot to replace a departed player. Certain positions deserve more love than others, especially on a Blackhawks team that is obviously deeper at certain positions than others.
  • Age - Collectively, this is still a very young team. This category should be relatively easy to sort out in this instance. There are a couple of aging veterans that will be taken into consideration, as well as some super young cats, so there are both sides of the spectrum to consider. Age can be a factor at both ends, as well, not just if a player is in his 30s.
  • No Prospects - Yes, this means no Teuvo Teravainen. Prospects are too difficult to look at in regard to trade value, as they're usually packaged up for a bigger piece if they're traded at all. The only exception here is going to be Jeremy Morin, who has about enough experience to be looked at. Teuvo won't be included, nor will the likes of Stephen Johns, Adam Clendening, Phillip Danault, etc.
23. Michael Rozsival (D)
  • Age: 35
  • Contract: $2.2 million cap hit through 2014-15 (UFA)
  • Explanation: This is a relatively simple one to ascertain. Rozsival has been mentioned as a potential trade candidate for the Blackhawks, but any reality of such a deal taking place appears to be far-fetched. His age reared its ugly head last season, as his legs appeared to go and he took some bad penalties as a result. Additionally, he's making $2.2 million for the year, a high price to pay for what he brings at this point. He'll likely rotate in and out of the lineup next year, and could provide some value if he's used more sporadically. The Hawks have depth on the blue line, as well, making him expendable.
22. David Rundblad (D)
  • Age: 23
  • Contract: $785,000 cap hit through 2014-15 (RFA)
  • Explanation: It's hard to hate on David Rundblad, given how little we've actually seen from him. There is a strong offensive skill set from the blue line, but he hasn't had the opportunity to showcase it. Furthermore, until a defenseman is traded, he won't even see that opportunity, and even then the Blackhawks have the likes of Johns, Clendening, or Klas Dahlbeck that could steal time. He's only signed for another year and his future is a cloudy one. However, if he capitalizes on opportunities soon, he could shoot up these rankings by the end of the year. Like Rozsival, Rundblad plays a position where the Blackhawks have organizational depth, in addition to the fact that he's almost a prospect at this point.
21. Kris Versteeg (LW)
  • Age: 28
  • Contract: $2.2 million cap hit through 2015-16 (UFA)
  • Explanation: It's no secret I'm a fan of Kris Versteeg. His contract actually has the ability to move him up a couple of spots from here, given his upside. Coming off of last year, though, it's tough to put him much higher than 21 on the list. He under-performed in the playoffs and landed in the press box as a healthy scratch on more than one occasion, while watching his role and ice time deteriorate. He also happens to be out on the wing, where the Hawks have some depth both on the current roster and in their system.
20. Peter Regin (C/W)
  • Age: 28
  • Contract: $650,000 cap hit through 2014-15 (UFA)
  • Explanation: The purpose of this exercise is to determine trade value. Regin likely wouldn't fetch anything more than a late-round pick. The 28-year-old showed some flashes of being a nice player in the bottom six in last year's playoffs, but his role has yet to be seen. Joel Quenneville's usage of Regin also makes him something of a question mark. His versatility helps to bump him up a couple of spots.
19. Antti Raanta (G)
  • Age: 25
  • Contract: $750,000 cap hit through 2015-16 (UFA)
  • Explanation: It really remains to be seen just what the Blackhawks have in Antti Raanta. He showed some flashes last year when the Hawks were without Corey Crawford, but ultimately finished with a 2.71 goals against average and a save percentage under .900. The fact that Crawford will likely take on so many starts again next year indicates that Raanta may not see as much playing time as some backups across the league, and his game may not see significant improvement as a result. The fact that the Hawks' system isn't exactly loaded with goaltending talent moves him up a couple of notches from where he may have been.
18. Joakim Nordstrom (C)
  • Age: 22
  • Contract: $616,667 cap hit through 2014-15 (RFA)
  • Explanation: Nordstrom impressed the Hawks' coaching staff enough to make the team out of the gate last year, but ended appearing in only 16 games during the regular season. He showed some defensive ability from the forward position, which certainly helps to increase his value, as well as the fact that he does it from the center spot. With the addition of Brad Richards, though, it'll be interesting to see what type of opportunity he actually sees with the Blackhawks this year. He's a guy who probably could have been thrown in with the prospects, making his value that much tougher to determine.
17. Ben Smith (RW)
  • Age: 26
  • Contract $1.5 million cap hit through 2015-16 (UFA)
  • Explanation: Ben Smith is a fan favorite across the board. He takes on his role on the fourth line and performs very well at it. He's a guy that will get you 10-15 goals while embracing a defensive role in which he doesn't commit many penalties. He's a nice guy to have around, but in reality he's just that: a guy. He's the type that the Blackhawks could probably replace, especially out on the wing. Nonetheless, it is nice that he'll be in Chicago for at least two more years.
16. Jeremy Morin (RW)
  • Age: 23
  • Contract: $800,000 cap hit through 2015-16 (RFA)
  • Explanation: Morin's upside certainly does him a favor here. He's a player who can push the offensive pace and create opportunities for himself and others. He has the ability to log minutes next to top tier players like Jonathan Toews, as well as play a role on the third or fourth line. His defensive game made some strides last year as well. If he cuts down on the defensive miscues and bad penalties, he gets an increased role on the Hawks and climbs up this list.
15. Johnny Oduya (D)
  • Age: 32
  • Contract: $3.375 million cap hit through 2014-15 (UFA)
  • Explanation: If Oduya is the player the Blackhawks end up dealing before the season starts, they're not going to get an outlandish return for him. He's looked at as more of a rental and is 32 heading into the new season. Even so, he spent the last couple of years with the toughest defensive assignments and does bring a decent offensive touch from the blue line. He comes in just ahead of Morin on this list due to the fact that he's already an established player, even if the Hawks have the organizational depth to replace him.
14. Bryan Bickell (LW)
  • Age: 28
  • Contract: $4 million cap hit through 2016-17 (UFA)
  • Explanation: Bickell's an interesting case. He's a fantastic postseason performer, but that prowess in the Stanley Cup Playoffs hasn't translated to regular season success. As such, not as many teams would be willing to take on that $4 million cap hit he lugs around. A good guy in the locker room and a physical presence that is a rarity on this Hawks team makes him more valuable to them than he would be for a lot of other teams.
13. Brad Richards (C)
  • Age: 34
  • Contract: $2 million cap hit through 2014-15 (UFA)
  • Explanation: Richards is an interesting case. His status as a center certainly helps his value, but he's also coming off a stint with the New York Rangers that most would label as a failure. He has the ability to be an asset for Patrick Kane in the middle of that second line, and can contribute on a power play unit that was up and down quite a bit last year. Such a cheap contract also benefits him. It's hard to put him higher, though, until we see how he adjusts to Chicago.
12. Marian Hossa (RW)
  • Age: 35
  • Contract: $5.275 million cap hit through 2020-21 (UFA)
  • Explanation: A very tough omission from the top 10 because he still brings so much.  However, there's a lot of reality to acknowledge here. Hossa is 35. He's had some health issues, particularly some concerns about his back. He's not going to be a Blackhawk through the remainder of that contract. That said, he's still a fabulous two-way player. The fact that he's one of the league's top two-way forwards at this point in the league puts him this high, even with the long cap hit, the looming recapture penalty, and other negative factors to be considered (also, there's nothing wrong with the fact that Hossa will finish his career in Chicago).
11. Nick Leddy (D)
  • Age: 23
  • Contract: $2.7 million cap hit through 2014-15 (RFA)
  • Explanation: There are a lot of teams that would love to get their hands on a guy like Nick Leddy. He has the skill set of an excellent offensive d-man and has flashed a terrific ability to carry the puck up the ice and generate the rush. However, he was a bit timid last year and may have started to fall out of favor with the coaching staff, especially given the presence of similar players like Rundblad or Adam Clendening. A team would love to take a run at Leddy, especially on that contract and with restricted free agent status that'd make him more than a rental, in theory.
Part 2 of this feature will take a look at some of the most valuable players to this Chicago Blackhawks team. The usually suspects will be in the mix there, along with a few surprises cracking the top 10. Stay tuned.

*Cap hit numbers courtesy of Capgeek.

Randy Holt is a staff writer for Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @RandallPnkFloyd.