Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman proved to the hockey world he thirsts for more Stanley Cup championships when he traded for Andrew Ladd, Tomas Fleischmann, and Dale Wiese as the deadline approached.
Many in Chicago felt crushed and hurt when Chicago traded Ladd away in 2010 to the Atlanta Thrashers (now the Winnipeg Jets) after they won the first of three Stanley Cups in the last six years. People knew Ladd as a “perfect depth guy” and very “physical.”
But murmurs went wild leading up to the trade deadline that Bowman wanted to bring him back to strengthen the top three lines for another run.
Bowman confirmed the rumors when he traded first round draft pick Marko Dano and another first round pick for Ladd, Jay Harrison, and Matt Fraser. Winnipeg will receive another pick if the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup this year.
“He brings so much to the table,” explained Bowman. “Just his competitiveness. He’s a very versatile player. He’s played a big role in Winnipeg the last few years there. On their team, he does it all.”
He added: “The big thing for us is just the familiarity he has. Not just with our coaching staff, but our players. I think he’s maintained a friendship with a number of our players, and that’s important. There’s still a few days to go. It’s our job to continue to look and see if there’s anything that makes sense to improve the team. If it doesn’t change from where we are now, I really like the group we have.”
“Bringing in the current captain of any NHL team for a playoff run is a pretty big deal,” stated Puckin Hostile. “Bringing one in who knows the organization, and has fit with them before is that much more important.”
Ladd proved the words correct when he played alongside captain Jonathan Toews on Sunday against the Washington Capitals, a likely preview of the Stanley Cup Final. He received an assist on the Toews goal and registered a shot on goal.
Bowman continued his quest when he obtained wingers Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann from the Montreal Canadiens. The trade strengthens the third and fourth lines. The additions will help 21-year-old Tuevo Teravainen, who centers the third line, with “consistent line mates.”
“I think sometimes people overlook the fact that more than anybody on our group of forwards, he’s bounced around and had to be the most versatile guy,” said Bowman. “That’s not easy to do for a young guy who’s trying to get established in the league. He’s a very important player for us and will continue to be,” Bowman said. “But I think in fairness to him, if we can give him more stability it might enhance his profile a bit.”
The Blackhawks also traded struggling defenseman Rob Scuderi to the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. Early Monday morning, the Blackhawks made trades regarding AHL players. They received goalie Drew MacIntyre from the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Dennis Robertson.
The deadline ends soon, but teams may announce trades after the clock strikes due to negotiations and legalities.