The Chicago Blackhawks want another forward and have made defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk available as part of that effort, reports Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman. He says they may need to “sweeten the pot” beyond TVR in order to get a deal done.
It’s been a rough few weeks for van Riemsdyk, who opened training camp as a lock to make the NHL roster. Despite a rough training camp and preseason, that happened, but van Riemsdyk quickly lost his spot in the lineup to Niklas Hjalmarsson returning from suspension after the opener. With the emergence of 20-year-old Gustav Forsling, there was no longer room for van Riemsdyk in the lineup.
And because he’s not waiver-exempt, the Hawks cannot send TVR down to the AHL without clearing waivers. Given his favorable contract — $825,000 cap hit through 2017-18 — there’s a very good chance he would get claimed even after a rough start to the season.
So that makes van Riemsdyk a sensible trade candidate right now, although his trade value likely isn’t too high. He could fit in as a defensive-minded third-pairing defenseman on another team, but others likely wouldn’t give up much for the chance to find out. More likely, the Hawks will have to add other assets to any offer involving TVR in order to get a forward who could meaningfully contribute right now, as Friedman noted.
Last season, van Riemsdyk played in all 82 games and recorded 14 points. He was pretty rough at times, often when next to Brent Seabrook, and clearly over his head as the No. 4 defenseman. Presumably the Hawks’ selling pitch in a trade would be that he’ll be more effective in a less significant role.
None of this is to say that a deal is imminent, but it’s very possible. The Hawks won’t want to carry eight defensemen all season long, and Michal Rozsival isn’t getting traded. And if the Hawks want to move a d-man for a forward, TVR is the logical candidate to make it happen given his waiver status. While Chicago’s young forwards have shown flashes this season, another option for Joel Quenneville wouldn’t hurt.