The Chicago Blackhawks have been "getting calls" regarding the availability of veteran defenseman Trevor Daley, reports ESPN's Pierre LeBrun. It had been previously reported that the Hawks were open to dealing Daley, who was acquired during the offseason, and now it appears there will be suitors if the team moves forward with a trade.
With several teams around the NHL looking to add help on the blue line, Daley should have a market if he's available, according to LeBrun. He says the Hawks "aren't in a hurry" to make a deal, so we probably shouldn't expect anything to come together quickly. Still, it's clear he's one of the players most likely to get moved on the team and a move could happen if the right offer is made.
Daley, 32, has struggled with the Blackhawks after being acquired as part of the Patrick Sharp deal with the Stars during the offseason. A longtime veteran in Dallas, he's reportedly had trouble fitting into Chicago's system and LeBrun says "he’s probably a bit frustrated with his role these days" given that he's used to playing a much larger role. Last season with the Stars, Daley played a career-high 22:53 per game. This season, he's not even getting 16 minutes a night.
The Hawks probably aren't thrilled with his performance, either. And with a contract including a $3.3 million cap hit through next season, Chicago seems open to the idea of clearing his salary while opening up a roster spot for other players. Erik Gustafsson and Viktor Svedberg are currently in Rockford, while David Rundblad has been hanging in the press box of late.
So there are other players in-house if the team moves Daley, and based on these reports, it seems like he actually still has some value around the league. That's not totally surprising for a player who racked up 16 goals and 38 points last season and doesn't have a particularly expensive cap hit, although he hasn't excelled with the Hawks so far. LeBrun names the Pittsburgh Penguins as one possibility, and the Ottawa Senators have been reported as another possible destination.
The good news here is that Daley's recent performance doesn't appear to be scaring off teams in need of help, which gives the Hawks some options for resolving this situation. He's still capable of being a useful player, too, especially in the right system. We'll see if he ultimately gets that chance to figure things out here or Chicago decides to move on.