The Deal That DIDN'T Happen: Brandon Hagel and Marc-André Fluery to Toronto

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The Deal That DIDN’T Happen: Brandon Hagel and Marc-André Fluery to Toronto

Chicago Blackhawks

Kyle Davidson’s first significant move as the new GM of the Chicago Blackhawks will go down as the Brandon Hagel trade to Tampa Bay, but it almost went down as the Brandon Hagel and Marc-André Fleury trade to Toronto.

This afternoon, TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger reported that a potential deal that would have sent Hagel and Fleury to Toronto died on the cutting room floor. If you thought that the Tampa Bay return was a haul, get a load of this proposed return:

In this trade return, the Blackhawks would have walked away with multiple first-rounders, Petr Mrázek and Matthew Knies, in exchange for Hagel and Fleury. According to Dreger, the trade discussions never got to the point where the Blackhawks would have had to ask Fleury if he was willing to go to Toronto because Toronto declined to do the deal based on the futures involved.

Matthew Knies was Toronto’s second-rounder in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and is currently playing for the University of Minnesota. Knies is a 19-year-old, six-foot-three winger who racked up 29 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in 29 games with the Golden Gophers this season and is considered to be Toronto’s No. 2 prospect by Scott Wheeler of The Athletic. Knies would have been a massive addition to the Blackhawks’ essentially non-existent forward prospect corps. Multiple first-rounders would have been on par with Davidson’s Tampa Bay return for Hagel on Friday.

Mrázek would have given the Blackhawks a veteran goaltender to pair with Kevin Lankinen, but when you look at the immense value of Knies and the first-rounders, Mrázek just feels like a throw in to balance the cap numbers out in the deal.

Nothing against Taylor Raddysh (wh0 has some second-third-line potential in him at 24-years-old) or Boris Katchouk, but dreaming about landing Matthew Knies and two first-rounders is a mighty sweet concept that I’ll be chewing on for a while.

This is all hypothetical, of course, because we don’t know if Fleury would have OK’d the deal even if Toronto went for it, but that’s an excellent return. I will say this: it’s nice to know that Davidson’s asking price was sky high, backing the notion around the league that the Blackhawks are setting the ask at the premium level for their assets ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline.

Now we wait to see if the Blackhawks can trade Fleury (and, previously, Hagel) in separate deals …


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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.