The Chicago Blackhawks are set to be sellers at this year’s NHL Trade Deadline. And love it or hate it, Brandon Hagel is one of their most popular trade targets. The good news, such that it is, is that sometimes during trade season, also known as “silly season,” silly trades happen. And if Hagel is going to be moved, that’s the kind of return you hope the Blackhawks can get; something so good, it’s silly. To that end, it was reported earlier this week that Blackhawks forward Brandon Hagel was starting to garner interest around the league and that the price tag for him was insanely high.
While Chicago likely doesn’t want to move Hagel, they may be getting offers for him that they cannot refuse. According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the Blackhawks have been offered a trade package close to their asking price for Hagel (first-round pick, top-prospect, plus more) and that at least four NHL teams have expressed interest in acquiring the 23-year-old.
From Seravalli’s report:
At least four teams are known to have engaged in conversation on Hagel: Florida, Toronto, New Jersey and Calgary. The Flames likely moved on to Toffoli; the Maple Leafs are focused on defense. But Hagel’s contract and cost certainty is making teams drool. He is in first-round pick plus top prospect territory, which is understandable given the contract, his production and style of play.
The first thing that jumps out to me is that New Jersey of all teams is looking to give up future assets for Hagel. Based on point-percentage, the Devils would have the fourth-best odd to land the top pick in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft. If the Devils are willing to give the Blackhawks their 2022 first-round pick and give up a top prospect or two in the process, I’m not sure how anyone in the Blackhawks organization passes that up.
I think Hagel can be a key part of the future in Chicago. I also think you can be offered a very silly trade package for a player of his caliber. Like Seravalli mentions, his age, cap hit, term, skill-set, and style of play make him a player teams drool over. It’s why the Blackhawks drool over him. But for a player the Blackhawks signed as a free agent after his draft rights expired, to flip him for top-end prospects and potentially no-worse than the sixth-overall pick in this year’s draft, I don’t know how you can say no to that if that is what a team like New Jersey is offering.
Also mentioned in Seravlli’s trade list is Marc-André Fleury, of course, and Calvin de Haan. He also has removed Dylan Strome from his trade list, which is an interesting development.
We’ll see how this all plays out. First, the Blackhawks need to hire their freakin’ General Manager!