Brandon Hagel Rumors, Kirby Dach's Future, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Brandon Hagel Rumors, Kirby Dach’s Future, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Yesterday, the discourse in the Blackhawks’ corner of the internet was around the rumors that Brandon Hagel may or may not be on the trade block and he may or may not be worth a first-round pick, a top prospect, and more. Nevermind that there was a game last night, the focal point of this season for the Blackhawks now is on who is here for the now and who will be here for the future.

•   According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, Brandon Hagel’s price tag from the Blackhawks is a first-round pick, a top prospect, and more. And from what Seravalli has to say, the team has received an offer(s) close to that price for Hagel.

•   In this report above, I say that Hagel is more valuable to the Blackhawks for the future of the club. He’s young, cost-controlled, plays an effective all-around game, and is a player any team would love to have and hate to play against. Which is at the same time, every reason he could be a trade target for a team that is far away from contending.

•   I really like Hagel. I want to see him play for many, many years in Chicago. Is he actually worth the high-price tag the Blackhawks have put on him? Probably not. But, if you’re getting a team willing to part ways with a first-round pick, a proven top prospect, and either another mid-round pick or a player who can slot into your NHL lineup, I think you have to take that deal.

•   It’s a hard decision though, because the Blackhawks picked up Hagel for nothing. It’s not often that you pick up good players for nothing and they turn into guys who can play all over your lineup, but even primarily in your top-six forwards group. What it really comes down to is this: do you flip a player you found for nothing into a boatload of something else, or do you hold onto your found treasure as a known commodity?

•   Another piece to the Blackhawks’ future/someone the Blackhawks might actually benefit from trading is Kirby Dach. While it’s way less likely that Dach is actually being considered to be moved out of Chicago, there’s a train of thought where he could be moved. But in all honesty, that would be ridiculous. You don’t give up on a third-overall pick before he sees his second contract. Especially since Dach hasn’t shown you any reason not to believe he can become a serviceable NHL player in the top-half of your lineup.

•   He just needs to be put in the right spot to succeed. Word yesterday was that Dach could be moved to the wing when Jonathan Toews returns to the lineup. Also with the pending return of Tyler Johnson, the depth of the center position in Chicago would be better and Dach would be able to be flexed out of that position. He’s a good player who looks like he is lacking confidence. My guess is that he can do everything needed of a centerman on the ice…except win faceoffs.

•   Connor Murphy believes he can do those things:

•   But my counter-point again is this: 33.7% at the faceoff dot is unacceptable of a player who is trying to be your No. 2 centerman. Dach does a lot of things well with and without the puck. Take this play last night for example:

•   He can produce points. He can play a 200-foot game. He can be a versatile player. He cannot win faceoffs consistently enough to be a top centerman for this team.

•   There are plenty of players who are able to play a complete game and be effective at both ends of the ice without having to play the center position. Mark Stone and Marian Hossa are two that come to mind right away. I’m not saying Dach is going to be like either of those players. But with an opportunity to build his confidence and eliminate his biggest weakness as a centerman, the Blackhawks could tap back into the flashes of skill we saw from Dach in his rookie season that made us all very excited for his future and hopefully find consistency.

•   Chicago is going to have a great opportunity for some home cooking over the next two and a half weeks.

•   Also a good time to figure out who will be their new GM and to start making some G-D trades.

•   Also a good time to have Jonathan Toews, hopefully, get back on the ice with the team as he recovers from being in concussion protocol.

•   I still have this feeling in the back of my mind that Toews may or may not come back at all this year. Who knows? I’m not a doctor and I’m not him. Just hope he can be healthy.

•   Speaking of health, it’s awesome to see that Jack Eichel will be back on the ice as soon as tomorrow after having neck surgery and getting away from the debacle that was the Buffalo Sabres. Also, suspiciously perfect timing with Mark Stone going on LTIR…

•   Far be it from me to down-play what actually might be serious back issues with Stone, but like, c’mon, we all know what is going to happen here. Eichel is going to get into the lineup, Stone is on LTIR and then about a week or two before the postseason begins, Stone starts getting back on the ice and then, ope, Stone is ready for Game One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs when the salary cap doesn’t exist. The Lightning have done it. The Blackhawks did it. Honestly, if you’re not trying to circumvent the NHL salary cap in some way, you’re not trying hard enough to win a Stanley Cup.

•   Which is why I think player agent Allan Walsh is on to something here:

•   I’m not the smartest person in the room when it comes to the legal side of hockey (salary cap, CBA, etc.), but I’ve been a fan long enough under the “hard cap” era to know there is a better way to do this.

•   Former Blackhawk David Kämpf was on the receiving-end of a 200 I.Q.-play from Mitch Marner last night…

•   The stones is takes to execute a drop pass from two-feet in front of the goal. That’s wild.

•   In Olympic hockey news, the U.S. Men’s team has their quarterfinal opponent set for later tonight.

•   The U.S. Men will play Slovakia, but no decision has been made yet about who will be the starting goaltender for Team USA in that game. Strauss Mann was expected to be the top option for the U.S., but Blackhawks prospect Drew Commesso has been solid in his two appearances in the group stage. We will see who is in-between the pipes later this evening.

•   On the Women’s side, while the U.S. is heading into their Gold Medal game against Canada, team Captain Kendall Coyne-Schofield has not only been leading her team on the ice, but also keeping up with her day job as a Blackhawks development coach off the ice. An interesting story from John Wawrow and Stephen Whyno from Beijing…

•   Team USA looks to defend their 2018 Gold Medal tomorrow night against Canada.

•   No Blackhawks action tonight, but the Rockford IceHogs are at home for a game against the Iowa Wild.

•   Rockford is coming off back-to-back wins over the Chicago Wolves this weekend and have points in eight of their last ten games. They are 19-16-4 and are in fourth-place in the Central Division based on point-percentage (.538) just ahead of the Iowa Wild.

•   Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of “Wayne’s World” hitting the theaters. Today, it is the 37th anniversary of “The Breakfast Club” hitting theaters. While there’s no Blackhawks tie-in in this movie, it was filmed at Maine North High School back in Des Plaines in 1984, and was also filmed at the same time as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” both directed by John Hughes at the same location for interior shots.

•   Fun facts, right?

•   Today is also the eight-year anniversary of one of the most iconic shootouts in hockey history.

•   To this day I am still miffed that this U.S. team had Patrick Kane and they did not use him in this shootout. Not once. But anyway, T.J. Oshie and Jonathan Quick provided a moment for U.S. Hockey in 2014 (a year they did not earn a medal) that no one forgets.

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all enjoy your Tuesday!

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.