As it stands right now, both the general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks, Stan Bowman and the four players in question — Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews — have said there’s no trade plans while the Blackhawks go through a rebuild. Still, it seems inevitable, that at some point, things will change. The easiest way for the Blackhawks to get better will be to shed unwanted cap space or move players of actual value for future assets.
As such, it makes sense that Scott Powers of The Athletic would take a look at what the trade value of the big four out of the Chicago Blackhawks is or would be. Looking at each player, Powers wondered what the Blackhawks could get if Bowman changed his mind and asked anyone if they’d be willing to waive their no-trade or no-move clauses.
Patrick Kane Holds the Most Value
Patrick Kane held the most value in Powers in-depth look and believed there are a number of teams that would be willing to pony up to land the still very effective forward. The return would be at least a first-round pick and a top ‘A’ prospect, or a first and a couple of second-round picks, said a few sources.
One source said, “Certainly Kane would be attractive to anybody.” Another source said, “He has a ton of value. He’s still only 32 years old. He’s still one of the dominant players in the league.”
As such, it’s an interesting dilemma since Kane fetches the best return but he’s also the player the team would least like to move.
Toews and Keith Have Value, But There’s a Catch
Sources also noted that both forward Jonathan Toews and defenseman Duncan Keith have value in a deal as well, but the return would depend on how much salary is retained in any trade.
For Toews, there’s a debate about what his value in the room is and on the defensive side versus his drop in production offensively. He’s a natural leader and plays strong two-way hockey, but one source said:
“The one that will have a hard time too is Jonathan Toews. Again, his offense isn’t where it was and that’s a lot to pay for more of a defensive type player.”
Still, Chicago could fetch a couple of prospects, or prospects and a high draft pick in the right deal and with the right team.
As for Keith, one source noted, “Duncan Keith, I definitely think he has value. There’s no doubt about it. He has three years left. Cash-wise, his contract is great.” Another source believed he could still play in many team’s top four. At the same time, those sources also noted that most teams would likely want the Blackhawks to retain some of Keith’s salary.
Seabrook Will Cost the Blackhawks A Lot to Move Him
As for Brent Seabrook, his situation is much different than the others. While Kane will have value and a lineup of teams waiting should he become available, and while Toews and Keith could be had with a couple little tweaks here and there, it would take a lot to convince another club to take on Seabrook’s deal.
At the very least, the Blackhawks would need to add a huge sweetener to move him, plus be willing to retain 50% of his salary. One source said, “Seabrook will never be traded. It just won’t happen in today’s cap world. Unless he’s a different player when he comes back, it just won’t happen.”
Another source said that maybe the Blackhawks could move him, but it would cost Alex DeBrincat to get rid of Seabrook’s contract.
Does Any Of This Matter?
This season, this is all probably a moot point. The Blackhawks have already said they have no intention of asking anyone to waive their clauses in an effort to make a trade. Down the road? Things can change pretty quickly when the losses start piling up.
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