The trade of Ryan Hartman to the Nashville Predators before the deadline Monday wasn’t a total surprise, but it still seems to have caught Chicago Blackhawks players off guard. One of the more interesting reactions came from captain Jonathan Toews, who expressed confusion regarding why the deal was even made.
@JonathanToews on Hartman (1 of 2):— John Dietz (@johndietzdh) February 26, 2018
"He's so physical, he scores goals … he can do a little bit of everything. That's the only thing I can really comment on is how much he'll be missed, and what type of player and a guy he is. ...
(2 of 2):— John Dietz (@johndietzdh) February 26, 2018
"Other than that, I don't really understand or see the whole picture right now. Obviously that will take shape as we go along. I'm sure management knows what it's doing."
This is obviously an emotional time for the Blackhawks seeing Hartman leave, and Toews wasn’t the only player to express sadness at his departure. “Hopefully, he’s still here and I can give him a hug before he gets out of here, or go get a bite or something,” Vinnie Hinostroza said Monday, via the Chicago Sun-Times.
Still, seeing Toews, who is usually supportive in all manners with the media, say that he doesn’t understand or see the big picture now is an interesting development. Not that we’re going to blow this out of proportion given his next two sentences express support for management, but it shows the toll that this season is taking on the guys in the locker room. It’s understandable that losing a beloved teammate would leave some players hurting.
GM Stan Bowman does seem to have a plan to overhaul this roster, though, and the Blackhawks received a strong package in return for Hartman. There may be some frustration around Chicago right now, but the team is trying to make things happen.