SHOULD THE BLACKHAWKS PUT GUSTAFSSON ON THE BLOCK?
- Jimmy Greenfield from the Chicago Tribune believes the Blackhawks should trade defenseman Erik Gustafsson for a return that helps their ongoing rebuild.
- If recent call-up Adam Boqvist proves he’s here to stay, Gustafsson no longer has an obvious spot in the lineup.
- The pending UFA is coming off a career season (60 points) but he’s struggled this season and was a recent healthy scratch.
- When Gustafsson was held out last season he responded with the best play of his career, marked by his addition to the power play.
- But coach Jeremy Colliton said before Sunday’s game that Gustafsson isn’t immediately getting back his spot on the power play, not even with the second unit that will consist of Jonathan Toews and rookies Dach, Boqvist, Alex Nylander and Dominik Kubalik.
- Gustafsson has held himself accountable for his defensive lapses and understood the decision to give him a game off against the Kings.
“Of course I’m frustrated,” he said. “I want to play. But you look at last year and it might be a good thing, I don’t know. But I’ve got to be better out there, that’s all it is. I know that too. … I need to do everything I can to not be a healthy scratch again and help the team to win.”
- That’s what you want to hear from a player facing adversity.
- There’s no questioning Gustafsson’s desire to improve, and it’s certainly possible he soon will get out of the funk that has thrown his season off course.
- Hawks general manager Stan Bowman could wait until the February trade deadline, when Gustafsson’s value presumably would be higher, to strike a deal.
- But chances are Bowman explored deals for him in the offseason and didn’t discover much of a market for a player with less than one great season under his belt.
- The Hawks’ decision to bring up Dach and Boqvist shows they’re serious about speeding up their rebuilding process.
- It’s also a sign they recognize they’re not getting to the playoffs this season
Sources & Credits: : Jimmy Greenfield, Chicago Tribune, Spectors Hockey