Blackhawks In Talks To Bring Back An Old Face And Upgrade Defense

4123

The Stanley Cup Final is over, and now, we move on to many fans’ favorite part of the year. The NHL offseason officially begins on July 1st, but the rumors have already begun. The rumor mill is in full swing as the Blackhawks were once again a part of some juicy trade rumors. A familiar face could be making a return to the team in the not so distant future.

Scott Powers of The Athletic was the first to officially report this trade scenario. Also, I recently published an article about Carolina actively pursuing trade partners for Justin Faulk, so there is definitely some truth to this rumor.

How Would This Trade Work?

As of now, there have been no reports of what the Blackhawks would have to offer in order to make this work. It is pretty much guaranteed at this point that Carolina will request the Blackhawks’ 27th overall pick (via Nashville). After that, it is kind of up in the air, so I will tell you what I believe is fair trade value in this deal. Besides the pick, I think the Blackhawks will strongly consider trading Artem Anisimov since he has a cap hit of $4.55 million for the next 3 years and his No Movement Clause is now a modified No Movement Clause.

I think the Blackhawks will also try to coax the Hurricanes into taking Hossa’s 3 remaining years off of their hands to help the cap space situation. Worth a shot, right? Don’t count out Carolina asking for additional prospects, draft picks, or future considerations neither.

Why Would The Blackhawks Want Scott Darling Back?

Scott Darling was loved by basically all Blackhawks’ fans and lives here in Lemont, IL. He literally kept the Blackhawks from being eliminated in the 1st Round of the 2015 playoffs, so he is your quintessential hometown hero. He has built up a good amount of street cred around Chicago. Fans would undoubtedly love it if Bowman and Co. could bring Scotty 2 Hotty back home next season.

The fact that the Blackhawks are even exploring the possibility of bringing back Scott Darling leads me to believe that the organization is unsure about the Corey Crawford predicament. It sure seems like the Blackhawks do not think they can rely on Crawford to play a full 82 game season. This will be an ongoing storyline to keep an eye out for this summer.

Darling had a rough time last season in Carolina as a starter, but it is really hard to have a good season in Carolina though. Here, you can see just how successful Darling was as a Blackhawk.

                                                                                                Goal                  Scor
Season    Age  Tm  Lg  GP  GS  W  L T/O  GA   SA   SV  SV%  GAA SO  MIN QS  QS% RBS GA%-   GSAA  GPS    G A PTS PIM Awards
2014-15    26 CHI NHL  14  13  9  4   0  27  419  392 .936 1.95  1  833 10 .769   0   75   8.76  3.6    0 0   0          0
2015-16    27 CHI NHL  29  24 12  8   4  67  784  717 .915 2.58  1 1560 13 .542   5  100  -0.25  4.6    0 0   0          0
2016-17    28 CHI NHL  32  27 18  5   5  67  877  810 .924 2.38  2 1689 17 .630   1   88   8.90  6.2    0 0   0          0
2017-18    29 CAR NHL  43  40 13 21   7 131 1171 1040 .888 3.18  0 2475 14 .350   7  127 -28.22  3.5    0 0   0          2
3 yrs         CHI NHL  75  64 39 17   9 161 2080 1919 .923 2.37  4 4082 40 .625               6 14.4    0 0   0          0
1 yr          CAR NHL  43  40 13 21   7 131 1171 1040 .888 3.18  0 2475 14 .350               7  3.5    0 0   0          2
Career            NHL 118 104 52 38  16 292 3251 2959 .910 2.67  4 6557 54 .519              13 17.9    0 0   0          2

Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table

The Hurricanes’ organization is currently under construction right now with new management taking over. This will definitely create a poor work environment for even the most talented hockey player. Even after last season’s struggles, Darling would surely solidify the Blackhawks’ goaltending position.

Darling does have a bit of a pricey contract though with 3 years remaining and a cap hit of $4.150 million each year. Although, there is still the possibility of Carolina holding onto at least part of Darling’s contract, so there is still a great chance that this deal actually happens. Personally, I would be all for it. The Blackhawks would improve two positions with one trade.

Let me ask you this. Would you rather have Anton Forsberg out there or Scott Darling? Exactly.

What Does Justin Faulk Bring to the Table?

The Blackhawks gave up the 8th most goals last season which is an absolute joke and a far cry from where they have been in recent years. The front office should be ashamed of the defensemen they put out there. The Hjalmarsson trade was detrimental to the team’s chemistry and to the talent level on defense. That is where Justin Faulk comes in. I had talked more in detail about Faulk in my recent article and explained what he would bring to the table.

Faulk would be an instant upgrade on defense for the Blackhawks, and also, bring some much-needed leadership to a team where more and more young players are getting a taste of the NHL. He was a co-captain for the Carolina Hurricanes last season too. Faulk is also known for his Power Play prowess which is something the Blackhawks have not had in a very long time. He lit the lamp 10 times on the Power Play for Carolina in the 2015-16 season.

He did not exactly light it up for the Hurricanes last season, but he posted a respectable stat line. Here are his career numbers.

                                         Scor        Goal     Assi          Shot                                                   Ice
Season    Age  Tm  Lg  GP  G   A PTS  +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV PP SH    S  S%  TSA   TOI  ATOI FOW FOL FO% HIT BLK  TK  GV         Awards
2011-12    19 CAR NHL  66  8  14  22  -16  29  3  5  0  2  7  7  0  101 7.9  220  1508 22:51   0       0 113  85  32  20       Calder-7
2012-13    20 CAR NHL  38  5  10  15    1  15  3  1  1  0  8  2  0   76 6.6  138   912 24:00   0       0  63  47  24                 26
2013-14    21 CAR NHL  76  5  27  32   -9  37  3  2  0  1 20  6  1  152 3.3  337  1779 23:25   0       0  94 102  41                 47
2014-15    22 CAR NHL  82 15  34  49  -19  30  6  7  2  4 21 13  0  238 6.3  452  2003 24:26   0       0 157 114  70  50 AS-24Norris-22
2015-16    23 CAR NHL  64 16  21  37  -22  27  4 12  0  4 16  5  0  184 8.7  385  1539 24:03   0   1 0.0 109  65  45                 42
2016-17    24 CAR NHL  75 17  20  37  -18  32 13  4  0  2 11  9  0  225 7.6  445  1736 23:08   0       0 117  84  53                 45
2017-18    25 CAR NHL  76  8  23  31  -26  48  5  3  0  3  7 16  0  211 3.8  421  1692 22:16   0       0 128  90  63                 66
Career            NHL 477 74 149 223 -109 218 37 34  3 16 90 58  1 1187 6.2 2398 11169 23:25   0   1 0.0 781 587 328                296

Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table

My Final Outlook On The Trade

As long as Carolina can retain some of Scott Darling’s salary, I think this deal has a great chance of actually happening. Depending on what the Carolina Hurricanes ask for in return, this trade would definitely help the Blackhawks out more than most people would care to admit. Let’s see if Stan Bowman can prevent the Hurricanes from pulling another fast one on the Blackhawks. Maybe he can return the favor this time around and steal back Teuvo Teravainen in the process. Chicago misses you, buddy.

As this summer heats up, so do the trade rumors and rumor mill. Throw on your shades and sunscreen, because it is going to be a hot one this summer for the Blackhawks!