Zawaski: Blackhawks Get Their Man In Andrew Ladd, So What’s Next?

By Jay Zawaski–

(CBS) It was quite a Thursday in Chicago sports, wasn’t it?

The White Sox introduced Jimmy Rollins to the media.

The Cubs traded Chris Coghlan, then shocked the baseball world by signing Dexter Fowler.

Then, right before the puck dropped in the Blackhawks-Predators game at the United Center, Chicago landed its top trade-deadline target in forward Andrew Ladd in a blockbuster deal with Winnipeg.

To make the trade happen, the Blackhawks had to ship top prospect forward Marko Dano, a 2016 first-round pick and a 2018 conditional third-round pick to the Jets for Ladd, forward Matt Fraser and defenseman Jay Harrison. Winnipeg also agreed to pick up 36 percent of Ladd’s salary.

Ladd immediately fills Chicago’s need for a top-line left wing and will slot perfectly with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa when the latter returns to the lineup.

So does this trade mean the Blackhawks are done dealing? No it doesn’t, not at all.

As of Friday morning, the Blackhawks have $1.4 million in cap space. That would allow them to make another small move without moving out anymore salary, but I believe the Hawks have their sights sent higher.

The Hawks are pursuing Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis, among others, sources said. Hamhuis carries a $4.5 million cap hit, so the Hawks would have to make some other moves to make it work.

Some reports have the Toronto Maple Leafs kicking the proverbial tires on winger Bryan Bickell. However, for the Leafs to take on some or all of Bickell’s salary, the Hawks will have to throw in a sweetener — think someone like Ryan Hartman or Mark McNeill. In return, the Chicago could receive a late-round draft pick and, more importantly, cap relief.

Hamhuis would be a solid fit on the Blackhawks’ blue line. He’s a legit third or fourth defenseman, which is exactly what Chicago needs to solidify its defensive corps.

Another defenseman Chicago could be targeting is Calgary’s Kris Russell, who has had a tough season. Flames fans have been longing for him to get traded for some time. He could be an upgrade for the Blackhawks over Viktor Svedberg, but only a slight upgrade. Russell would offer depth more than a true upgrade in ability.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has until Monday to swing another deal. Would you bet against him?

Jay Zawaski is the executive producer of the Spiegel and Goff Show on 670 The Score and the Blackhawks columnist for CBSChicago.com. He also hosts a weekly podcast with James Neveau of NBCChicago.com that you can listen and subscribe to here. Follow him on Twitter @JayZawaski670.

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