Trade talks between the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets for center Artem Anisimov haven’t progressed because of how little the latter is offering, reports the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus. It’s a strong indication that Anisimov likely won’t be on the move prior to the 2 p.m. CT trade deadline.
Anisimov’s agent, Todd Diamond, says the forward hasn’t been contacted about waiving his no-movement clause, per The Athletic’s Scott Powers. He has to approve any deal given his NMC, which turns into a partial no-trade clause on July 1.
Lazerus says the Blue Jackets merely offered a third-round pick for Anisimov, and also wanted the Blackhawks to retain half of his salary. That’s a paltry return, particularly when factoring in the retained salary, so it’s not surprising that the Blackhawks haven’t pulled the trigger on a deal.
With that said, the report is important for understand where Anisimov’s trade value is at. There seem to be some people in Chicago who think that the center is going to command a strong return, but his contract is clearly limiting what the Blackhawks will be able to ask of other teams. It’s still a head-scratcher why GM Stan Bowman was so aggressive in signing him to a lucrative extension in 2015 without ever seeing him play a game for the team.
While that $4.55 million cap hit isn’t a backbreaker, other teams aren’t going to line up to acquire a guy who has struggled badly when he’s not with Patrick Kane. The center has 17 goals in 53 games this season, but he’s also recorded just 13 points at even strength. His 5-on-5 GF% plummets from 50 percent to 27.8 percent away from Kane this season, per Natural Stat Trick.
So while a trade of Anisimov might make sense, it’s not clear that there’s a robust market for the center. He’s not as good as Derick Brassard, and his contract is far more onerous than Rick Nash. The same reasons that make him expendable for the Blackhawks are why nobody is going to shovel over draft picks for him.
However, it seems unlikely that the Hawks make a move unless they’re offered more than the reported deal from Columbus. Retaining half of Anisimov’s salary would be so much money that it’s worth keeping him if you’re simply getting a third-rounder in return. But for the fans thinking that he’s some big, valuable trade piece for them, it’s probably time to be more realistic.