Coming off an ugly weekend that heightened the need for urgency in Chicago, the Blackhawks have been considering Hurricanes defenseman Andrej Sekera and Flames forward Curtis Glencross as possible trade candidates, according to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.
Sekera is a name we've heard whispers on already -- we listed him a target a couple weeks ago -- and he'll keep on coming up as an affordable-yet-talented veteran who could help on the blue line. Glencross, on the other hand, is a new one, and his inclusion in the rumors is intriguing to say the least.
One thing to note here is that both these players have very similar cap hits. After the moves the 'Hawks made Sunday, which bought the team some extra space, it seems likely they're angling to fit a new piece onto the roster. Both these guys fit in the same salary range, as Sekera costs $2.75 milllion while Glencross comes in at $2.55 million.
Adding either guy would still require the 'Hawks to move a salary, and that means GM Stan Bowman will have to show some ingenuity. However, I just wanted to briefly toss out one possibly insane scenario based on the Glencross rumor, because it's Monday morning and we could use something to chew on.
Alright, here it is: What if the 'Hawks are looking at Glencross as an affordable alternative on the left wing because they're considering deals for Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell?
I know, it's a tad out there, and I know, it's a lot of speculation. I can't stress enough that I'm simply spitballing at what might be an intriguing solution to the team's issues. But just for a minute, hear me out on how this could potentially work.
So right now, even after the Darling/Raanta moves and assuming the team only carries seven defensemen, the 'Hawks only have about $1.6 million in available cap space. So no matter what, if they want to add another piece, they need to trade an Andrew Shaw or something. We already knew that.
But given the way the team seems to struggling to maximize its forward corps, what if the team dealt Sharp or Bickell to end up with a defenseman and Glencross? Trading Bickell for picks would free up $4 million in cap space, giving the team additional assets and $5.6 million in space. Toss in Glencross for $2.55 million, and you still have a solid $3.05 million or so to add help on the blue line.
That would be enough money to fit Sekera, or possibly Jeff Petry's $3.075 million cap hit with some extra maneuvering, for example. It would also get the team close enough that if it wanted to make another move, such as shipping out Shaw, that could open up options like Zbynek Michalek or potentially even Keith Yandle. If the alternative is to trade Shaw (or someone else) anyway for someone like Sekera, I suggest this alternative might be a tad intriguing.
Glencross is a pretty good scorer, after all, and could replace a lot of Bickell's production at a lesser price. The bigger concern would be losing size -- Bickell is listed at 6'4, 233 points, while Glencross is just 6'1, 197 pounds -- but the 'Hawks have never been built like that anyway. It's just a question of whether the 'Hawks could go any smaller than are, or if that's a degree too far.
The Flames winger can fire it, though, with a career shooting percentage near 15 percent, and he's put up more points per game (0.54) than Bickell (0.40) this year despite playing on a developing Calgary team. When you toss in his low shooting percentage (9.4 percent), it's possible the 'Hawks could get significantly more out of Glencross than they ever got from Bicks, points-wise.
And then you're talking about fitting in the defensemen without dealing Shaw, or adding Shaw in to go for someone even bigger. It's a lot to swallow, and possibly more than the 'Hawks would like to deal with this late in the season, but I thought I'd throw it out there.
Okay, end wild speculation.
So I'll happily admit that it's more likely the 'Hawks aren't looking to go nuclear and make those kinds of moves. However, if they were considering it, the scenario above might be one way of significantly stirring the pot while maintaining some balance on both ends of the ice. I'm not sure I would necessarily advocate the move -- I think it would depend largely on the trade returns, both coming in for the high-priced forward and going out for the reinforcements. I'm no longer opposed to considering big changes, though, particularly when we know they're coming over the summer whether we'll like it or not.