By: Jacqueline Brennan
General manager Stan Bowman strikes again, trading key young players that were the future of the Blackhawks organization. On Thursday July 12, 2018, the Blackhawks traded forward Vinnie Hinostroza, defensemen Jordan Oesterle, a third-round pick in the 2019 draft and the remainder of Marian Hossa’s contract to the Arizona Coyotes for former Blackhawk Marcus Kruger, 18-year-old prospect MacKenzie Entwistle, a center from the minor-league Jordan Maletta, minor-league defenseman Andrew Campbell and a fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft.
Only good thing to come out of the trade is Marian Hossa’s contract. Hossa had a three-year cap hit of $5.25 million but was never going to return to the ice. Hossa missed last season with a skin disorder that he had contracted from his equipment. By getting rid of his contract, the Blackhawks now have $8.5 million in cap space to work with while needing to fill three to four roster spots.
Unfortunately, the Blackhawks future took yet another step backward. Losing Hinostroza and Oesterle means the organization is losing developing players that could be potential superstars. Last season Hinostroza posted seven goals and 18 assists giving him 25 points in 50 games, a breakout year for the 24-year-old forward. Oesterle posted five goals and 10 assists in 55 games, tying him for third among defensemen in goals for the 2017-18 season.
Mackenzie Entwistle and Jordan Maletta are likely to be going to Rockford. Marcus Kruger is no stranger to the Blackhawks organization. Kruger played with Chicago for seven seasons before being traded to Carolina. In his final season with the Blackhawks, Kruger posted five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 70 games, one of his worst seasons. Kruger ended the 2017-18 season with Carolina’s AHL team and playing through a sports hernia that he had surgically repaired in April.
It is unlikely that Kruger will be what he once was for the team, but the trend of bringing back old players continues.
As it stands right now, the Blackhawks cannot enter the season with their current roster. Based on their recent trades and acquisitions, the roster is getting older while the NHL is getting younger and faster. The Blackhawks will not be able to compete in the league or their division without a substantial amount of youth and speed. They have all the pieces they need, they just need to get over this thing of “bringing the band back together” and giving these young kids a chance.