Blackhawks not involved in draft-day trades

PITTSBURGH -- While several centers and a defenseman changed teams on Friday night during the NHL draft. the Chicago Blackhawks weren’t involved in any of the trade action. But that doesn’t mean something won’t happen soon.

“We’ve talked a lot,” general manager Stan Bowman said. “There’s been a lot of talk over the last week or so but nothing panned out. It might be a misconception you have to get it all done before the draft. Unless you’re trading draft picks, you don’t have to get it done before the draft.”

Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal was destined to end up in Carolina with his brother Eric Staal after turning down an extension with the Penguins, but Dallas forward Mike Ribeiro was also moved on Friday. The Stars traded him to Washington for Cody Eakin and a second-round pick. Ribeiro is in the last year of a deal which pays him $5 million. He had 63 points last season.

“We looked at a lot of guys,” Bowman said in response to possible interest in Ribeiro. “I’m not going to say we were necessarily in on one trade and not on another trade. We’re willing to do things if it makes sense and when it does we’ll pull the trigger. We’re not hesitant to do that.”

Many Hawks fans have the opposite perception of the Bowman-led regime. Pulling the trigger on a big trade to add to the team hasn’t happened for some time. The Hawks have mostly shed salary in their offseason deals though they have acquired defensemen in-season over the last few years. Johnny Oduya was recently re-signed for $10 million over three years.

“We’re open to anything,” Bowman said. “If we can improve the team we’re not going to rule things out.”

Rumors persist the Hawks are looking to shed some more in the form of Niklas Hjalmarsson and possibly Steve Montador. It would free up enough money to make a splash in free agency, but it’s not known if Bowman can accomplish both: freeing up the money while signing an impact player. Stay tuned.