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Blackhawks might put Hjalmarsson, Montador on trading block

Jun 21, 2012, 8:25 PM EDT

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It’s probably an oversimplification to say this, but many hockey people believe that the Chicago Blackhawks essentially chose to keep defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson instead of goalie Antti Niemi after they won the Stanley Cup. There are some who aren’t sold on Niemi in San Jose, yet it’s interesting to note that CSNChicago.com’s Tracey Myers reports that Hjalmarsson and fellow expensive depth blueliner Steve Montador could be trade fodder this weekend.

The Blackhawks don’t need a major overhaul –- let’s remember this team is on a four-season playoff roll. But they do need to make changes to bolster what has become a predictable team. They need a stronger supporting cast. They need size on defense. That may mean giving up a player or two — a source indicated that Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador, who have a combined $6 million cap hit this coming season, could be possibilities. That may mean giving up a prized prospect and draft picks. It’s the price of winning –- and attaining impact players.

And, no, by “impact” we’re not talking about acquiring every break-the-bank superstar player out there. While the cap could increase to as much as $70 million, the Blackhawks have plenty of star status and big-money contracts. It’s more about finding those great characters, those great role players who have more than one year left in their NHL career. And it’s about finding them now.

Despite his versatility, the Montador signing was especially surprising the moment it happened. While Hjalmarsson’s upward trajectory seemed profound at the time that he signed his current deal, Montador seemed like the beneficiary of the Buffalo Sabres’ defensive troubles more than anything else in 2010-11.

Regardless, summer time seems to be the period when the Blackhawks purge cap-unfriendly defensemen. Do you think Hjalmarsson and Montador will follow in Brian Campbell‘s footsteps – out the door – then?

  1. chasingfisher - Jun 21, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Prob could have found a better picture…Bert probably scored on that shot anyway.

  2. dkeyser - Jun 21, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Welcome to the Panthers Niklas….

  3. Brian - Jun 21, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    If there was a trade market for Hjalmarsson, he’d already be gone.

    • mathieug79 - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:07 PM

      If i’m steve Y, im on the phone calling for Hjalmarsson, he blocks shots. Exactly what all of our defensemen have started doing this season (mostly because our goalies sucked) but I think Hjalmarsson could help out the Lightning’s blueline.

      PS I can’t wait to see what Steve Y has in store for us tampa bay fan at the draft (yes im probably the only one LOL :p)

  4. sjsharksfan11 - Jun 21, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Doug Wilson is enamored with him. Sharks will get Niklas

  5. kcprof926 - Jun 21, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    You could only hope Hammer goes.

  6. ineedmorehossa - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Tracy Myers is bored and trying to keep her job as an “important” insider who likes to slow pitch to Bowman……

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