McKenzie: ‘Word out of Chicago is no quick fixes’

How has the Blackhawks’ standings surge impacted their trade deadline mentality?

Bob McKenzie had a Wednesday evening first intermission TV hit on NBCSN.

“Word out of Chicago is no quick fixes to try and push them over the top,” indicated McKenzie. “That they’re looking at a bigger plan with hockey deals and not looking at giving up future assets for the rentals that are out there. So it’s hockey deals or bust right now for the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Now, the development of Dylan Strome as a second-line center - and you saw his magic with Alex DeBrincat with what they’ve meant to the Chicago Blackhawks - does mean that Artem Anisimov could become expendable. But he’s got two years left at $4.5 million AAV. That might not be an easy deal to move. But it is certainly something the Blackhawks would look at,

There’s always lots of talk of are they going to move Erik Gustafsson, the offensive-minded defenseman. My understanding is that’s not likely to happen; in fact is extremely doubtful that he’d be moved by the deadline.

“The other bit of news for Chicago Blackhawks fans - Corey Crawford - probably move him into the day-to-day category in terms of his return, maybe no more than a week at the most. Obviously that’s great news for Corey Crawford, great news for the Hawks.

“When he is cleared to come back into the lineup and play, Collin Delia would likely go down to the minors, and it would be back to Corey Crawford and Cam Ward, the goaltenders they planned to start the season with when all healthy.”

Gustafsson is in the first season of a two-year, $2.4 million contract, after which he can become an unrestricted free agent.

McKenzie alluded to the two years remaining on Anisimov’s five-year, $22.75 million contract, which also contains a modified no-trade clause through which the player can list 10 teams to which he can be dealt. That clause expires July 1, and the final years of his contract will not contain any trade protection.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly