The Chicago Blackhawks have made yet another move ahead of the NHL's Monday trade deadline. The defending champions have announced the acquisition of forwards Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise from the Montreal Canadiens for forward Phillip Danault along with a 2018 second-round draft pick.
This is the third trade in the past two days for the Blackhawks, following moves on Friday to sign winger Andrew Ladd and an exchange of defenseman Rob Scuderi for Christian Ehrhoff with the Los Angeles Kings. As such, this recent move to grab Weise and Fleischmann should do it for Chicago as it is pretty much used up all of its cap space.
Acquiring Weise might add some depth to the wings. The 27-year-old has already logged a career-high of 14 goals and is just three points shy of matching his total career-best points. He has been on the market for the Canadiens for a few weeks now, and was one of the biggest names left out prior to the deadline. Weise also delivered 26 points in 56 games for the Canadiens this season.
Fleischmann, meanwhile, had put up 20 points including 10 goals in 57 games for Montreal so far this season and had some versatility, which will allow the B-hawks to move him around the lineup as needed. However, unlike Weise, it seems that the 31-year-old left wing's big offensive days are behind him, SB Nation noted, but he is expected to assist his new team's depth on forward as they plan to contend for the Stanley Cup this season.
On the opposite side of the trade, the Montreal Canadiens have picked up 23-year-old center Phillip Danault. He has five points in a total of 32 professional games played, earning a goal, four assists and six penalty minutes. The Victoriaville, Quebec native was the 26th overall pick by Chicago in the 2011 draft
Moreover, as the NHL trade deadline approaches, it seems that the Blackhawks have shifted their focus away from Dan Hamhuis. The Vancouver Canucks defenseman was earlier rumored to be close to deal with the Blackhawks but the latter are reportedly losing interest, and it now appears they view Hamhuis as a Plan B, as opposed to a must-have acquisition.
According to NHL journalist Bob McKenzie, the B-hawks have "cooled considerably" on signing Hamhuis after coming close to getting him on Thursday. In turn, McKenzie suggested that Chicago seems to be more focused on "lower-level depth options on the blue line." Additionally, a potential deal for Hamhuis would be difficult for the team Blackhawks given its cap stipulations. After signing Ladd from the Winnipeg Jets last week, the Blackhawks will have less than $1.5 million of cap space on deadline day; Hamhuis has a cap hit of $4.5 million.