That’s a wrap, folks. The trade deadline has come and gone, and so has our coverage on the trade deadline. Let’s start this morning’s bullets with a look back at the highlights before we get into some on-ice things ahead of the Blackhawks’ back-to-back in California that begins tonight (R.I.P. my sleep).
• Kyle Davidson’s first crack at the trade deadline was frequently fancied as his first real test as the GM of the Chicago Blackhawks, so with that test in the books, I broke out my red pen and graded out each move and an overall mark for the 33-year-old General Manager.
Kyle Davidson’s first trade deadline as General Manager of the Chicago Blackhawks is in the books, which means it’s now time to take an early look at how the rookie GM performed. #Blackhawks https://t.co/bIQ4IsclqL
— Patrick K. Flowers (@PatrickKFlowers) March 22, 2022
• For as good as Kyle Davidson did regarding the assets acquired for his rebuild war chest, there might have been some potential returns left on the table:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) March 22, 2022
• But, those missed opportunities may serve as a negotiation reminder for the rest of the league when they’re dealing with Kyle Davidson and the Blackhawks in the years to come. While Kyle Davidson may have left some late-rounders on the table on Monday, he might have put the rest of the league on notice that he’s willing to allow them to call his bluff, and he’s going to hold firm on his asking prices for his players.
• The start of the rebuild and Kyle Davidson’s re-shaping of his roster isn’t sitting well with everyone. Jonathan Toews wasn’t exactly a fan of the decision to move Brandon Hagel to Tampa Bay on Friday, and that might change the way he feels about sticking around in Chicago. To which I would argue, thank you so much for all of your contributions and so long.
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) March 19, 2022
• Everyone loves Jonathan Toews, and Blackhawks fans will always hold the captain near and dear to their hockey hearts. One day he’ll have his No. 19 hanging in the rafters of the United Center. But, the rebuild is a must, whether he likes it or not. If that means that he wants to be moved this summer or walk next summer as a UFA, so be it.
• It seems that Calvin de Haan shared in our surprise that he wasn’t traded on Monday. The veteran defenseman was in good spirits, saying that he spent the day playing X-Box waiting on the call.
— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) March 23, 2022
• Regardless, de Haan handled everything like a true professional. Here’s what he had to say to the media on Tuesday after practice: “I did think I was going to get traded, but I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, and it’s not my decision. So that’s probably a question for Kyle [Davidson]. But I’m still happy to be here, and I’m going to work hard until the end of the season and go from there.”
• With Marc-André Fleury now departed for Minnesota, the Blackhawks have a new goaltending tandem that features a pair of impending UFA’s in Kevin Lankinen and Collin Delia. Delia was recalled from Rockford to serve as Lankinen’s partner in net, allowing the Blackhawks to leave Arvid Söderblom in Rockford where he will be able to play every day.
Blackhawks on the ice for practice in Anaheim, their first event since the trade deadline. McCabe out for maintenance. Delia and Lankinen in the two nets. pic.twitter.com/ZAptYsUTeE
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 22, 2022
• Delia, 27, has made two appearances in Chicago and six last year after playing 16 games during the 2019-20 season with the Blackhawks. The long-time AHL-er has a 3.69 GAA in 26 games with the Hawks over four seasons. This season, Delia has a 3.04 GAA in 22 games with the Rockford IceHogs.
• Tyler Johnson was activated from the IR on Tuesday afternoon. The veteran forward has been in concussion protocol since the Blackhawks’ victory over Ottawa on February 12, when he was hit in the head with a puck on a dump-in attempt. Fellow Johnson, Reese, will rejoin the Blackhawks as well. Reese last played for the Blackhawks on December 11 and has been out with a broken clavicle. Johnson has four points in 18 games with the Blackhawks this season.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) March 22, 2022
• Tonight’s contest in Anaheim marks the first post-trade deadline game for the Blackhawks and the official start to the season’s final leg with just 19 games remaining on the schedule. The Blackhawks record won’t matter much, but what will matter is how anyone not named Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews, or Seth Jones plays. Those four aren’t going anywhere (unless they want to), but the rest of the cast has a 19-game audition to prove to Kyle Davidson and his staff whether or not they’re going to be a part of the rebuild or better served somewhere else. One of the most important names to watch is Dylan Strome. Strome was not traded despite his post-January 1 performance pumping up his value on the open market, but he is an RFA at the end of the season.
What lies ahead for Dylan Strome after remaining with the Blackhawks through the trade deadline https://t.co/3IvQ6uqCNA
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) March 23, 2022
• The Blackhawks will have to decide where Strome fits into their plans this summer, if at all, so a continuation of his 2022 performance would be in the best interest of everyone involved regardless of how it shakes out in the end.
• The Bulls dropped another one to Milwaukee last night:
Enhanced Box Score: Bucks 126, Bulls 98 – March 22, 2022https://t.co/C6nlaLaB0w
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) March 23, 2022
• The Bears missed out on a big offensive lineman:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) March 22, 2022
• The Cubs came to terms with Ian Happ, avoiding arbitration. As for Willson Contreras, not so much:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 22, 2022