Blackhawks trade deadline review: Everything the Hawks did to make them the worst team possible


Matthew Niemczyk, KnightTV News/Features Director

The NHL trade deadline has recently come to a close with the Chicago Blackhawks being very active. As obvious sellers, trying to gain as much draft capital as possible, the Blackhawks traded most of their top value players.  

In the midst of a long rebuild, the Blackhawks traded away reliable defenseman Jake McCabe, speedy forward Sam Lafferty, leading points getter Max Domi and even the greatest Blackhawk of all time Patrick Kane. 

Patrick Kane wanted to get traded. With his contract expiring at the end of the season and the team being at the bottom of the league standings, he only wanted a move to the New York Rangers. This left general manager Kyle Davidson in a tricky position with limited to no leverage. Despite this, Davidson still managed to acquire a 2023 conditional 2nd round pick that could become a 1st if the Rangers make the Eastern Conference Final, and a 2025 4th rounder, along with two depth players. 

This certainly wasn’t the package that the Hawks envisioned for Kane at the beginning of the season but I believe that it was still a good trade by Davidson considering the circumstances. The Blackhawks managed to compensate for the Kane trade by packaging Lafferty and McCabe to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2025 1st round pick, 2026 2nd round pick, depth forward Joey Anderson, and prospect Pavel Gogolev; this was another good move by Kyle Davidson, who wants to spread out draft picks for all upcoming drafts. 

The Blackhawks also traded away Domi to the Dallas Stars for a 2025 2nd round pick and AHL goalie Anton Khudobin. With Domi being an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, Kyle Davidson made sure to flip him to a Stanley Cup contender. Another solid move by Davidson in my opinion.

The Blackhawks also managed to pry away another 2023 2nd round pick from the Ottawa Senators by taking on Nikita Zaitsev and his $4.5 million AAV contract for this season and the next. Future considerations went back the other way in an A+ move for Davidson. 

With all these trades, the Blackhawks are now set with plenty of draft capital. For the next three drafts alone, Davidson has 25 draft picks at his disposal with six 1st round picks, eight 2nd round picks, and five 3rd round picks included. In fact, the spread looks very promising. He has two 1sts in 2023, two 1sts in 2024, and two 1sts in 2025. He has four 2nds in 2023, two 2nds in 2024, and two 2nds in 2025.

In general, the trade deadline was pretty good for the Blackhawks. With the market being inflated and other teams getting more value for some of their players, the Hawks certainly weren’t winners of the deadline, but they also weren’t losers. With limited resources at his disposal, Davidson managed to gain draft capital and accomplished his main goal of making the team worse for the rest of the season in an attempt to tank for a top draft pick. 

As a Hawks fan, I hope this team loses every game for the rest of the season in order to get the best odds possible to win the NHL draft lottery for the chance to draft the young superstar prodigy Connor Bedard. #TankForBedard