Over the offseason we have been devoting some time each Friday to discuss some fun trade trees from Blackhawks history that could impact the organization moving forward. There have been some paths that included deals spanning more than a decade. And this week’s is no different.
Evan Barratt is an interesting forward to consider for the Blackhawks’ history. After three strong seasons at Penn State, he’s been in Rockford for the past two seasons. Now 23, Barratt had 14 goals in 63 games for the IceHogs this past season. But how did the Blackhawks wind up with him in the organization?
You ready for a crazy ride through Blackhawks history? Here we go!
• Aug. 16, 1996 — a day that will live in infamy for Blackhawks fans. Chicago traded superstar forward Jeremy Roenick to the Coyotes for forwards Alexei Zhamnov and Craig Mills and a first-round pick in the 1997 NHL Draft (No. 16 forward Ty Jones). Mills appeared in 27 games for the Blackhawks, scoring exactly zero goals. Jones appeared in eight games for the Blackhawks, scoring exactly zero goals.
Zhamnov, on the other hand, performed admirably for the Blackhawks despite always being viewed as “the guy they got for JR.” He scored 140 goals and added 284 assists in 528 regular-season games over eight seasons with the Hawks. He is, for more modern fans, the Pit Martin of the 90s-early 2000s. (Martin was the best player acquired from Boston in the trade that sent Phil Esposito to the Bruins. He was a good player; Espo became an all-time great.)
• Feb. 19, 2004 — the Blackhawks traded Zhamnov and a fourth-round pick in the 2004 NHL Draft (No. 101 defenseman RJ Anderson) to the Flyers for a package of defenseman Jim Vandermeer, forward Colin Fraser and a second-round pick in the 2004 NHL Draft (No. 41 forward Bryan Bickell).
Well, that one worked out fairly well. Bickell and Fraser wound up being parts of the Blackhawks’ dynasty teams, with Bickell scoring one of the iconic goals in franchise history. Bickell scored 65 goals in 384 regular-season games for the Blackhawks. Fraser scored 13 goals in 157 regular-season games for Chicago. Both has their name etched into the Stanley Cup today.
Vandermeer appeared in 171 regular-season games for the Blackhawks over parts of four seasons.
Tree Branch — Vandermeer
We’re going to allow ourselves to get somewhat sidetracked here for a moment, because Vandermeer has his own trade tree coming off the Roenick tree. This one’s going to be a full-blown banyan tree by the end, so keep your seatbelts on!
• Dec. 8, 2007 — the Blackhawks traded Vandermeer to back to the Flyers for forward Ben Eager. Eager, like Bickell and Fraser, became part of the Blackhawks’ dynasty teams. He appeared in 144 regular-season games over three years with Chicago, winning the Cup in 2010. But then he got traded…
• June 24, 2010 — the Hawks traded Eager in the blockbuster deal that sent Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel and Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers for Marty Reasoner, Joey Crabb, Jeremy Morin, a first-round pick in the 2010 draft (Kevin Hayes) and a second-round pick in the 2010 draft (Justin Holl). Sweet mother there are so many pieces to unpack here we could spend another two days on this deal…
The Cliff Notes: Hayes never signed with the Hawks after four seasons at Boston College but is still in the NHL. Holl, meanwhile, spent four years at Minnesota and started his professional career in the ECHL. He worked his tail off and is still in the league on the blue line for the Maple Leafs. The rest of the players involved in this deal are out of the league, and Morin will forever be a Blackhawks Legend #freeMorin.
Tree Branch — Fraser
• June 24, 2010 — yup, the same dark day as the Byfuglien trade. That was the day the Blackhawks tore down the 2010 championship roster, and Fraser was part of the fire sale. The Blackhawks sent Fraser to the Oilers for a sixth-round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft (No. 151 Mirko Hoefflin). Hoefflin never appeared in a game for the Blackhawks.
Back to the Trunk…
Let’s get back to the main part of this trade tree.
• June 15, 2016 — the Blackhawks traded Bickell with Teuvo Teravainen to Carolina Hurricanes for a second-round pick in the 2016 draft (No. 50 forward Artur Kayumov) and a third-round pick in the 2017 draft (No. 90 forward Evan Barratt).
Yeah, this one hurts. A lot. The Blackhawks couldn’t figure out why Bickell’s play — and health — were a struggle after they won the Stanley Cup and promptly signed Bickell to a significant multi-year extension (that created even more cap issues). So Stan Bowman used a top prospect, Teravainen, to get Carolina to take Bickell’s money off Chicago’s books. Ouch, babe.
We later found out that Bickell was dealing with the beginning stages of MS, and he has since retired from the game. Teravainen, meanwhile, is still a star for the Canes.
There have been some varying reports about the future Kayumov, who has been playing in the KHL for the last six years. According to Russian media outlet Match TV (on April 20), the Blackhawks plan to sign Kayumov (at some point). But Kayumov signed a one-year extension with has signed a one-year extension with the Lokomotiv to stay in the KHL.
• Feb. 24, 2017 — the Blackhawks traded the 2017 third-round pick received from Carolina (No. 80 goalie Keith Petruzzelli) to Detroit for forward Tomas Jurco. Petruzzelli has not appeared in an NHL game. Jurco scored seven goals in 42 regular-season games and left Chicago as a free agent after the 2017-18 season.
On a road that started with JR’s heartbreaking departure, the end (as of now) is a couple young forwards who might be part of the future in Chicago.
Along the way, three members of Stanley Cup championship teams were acquired. Two players involved in this trade tree were part of the burn down after the 2010 championship; two of the players selected in the 2010 NHL Draft by the Blackhawks never appeared in a game for Chicago but are still active in the NHL and… Turbo is still winning games for the Canes.
Barratt has one year remaining on his entry-level contract and might be in play for action at the United Center at some point this season as the new front office continues evaluating the young skill in the system. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks (possibly, somewhat reportedly) continue considering a future for Kayumov in the organization (for another year at least).
The craziest part of this trade tree: the Roenick trade happened almost three years before Barratt was born…