It's not easy figuring out how the Blackhawks' depth chart might look approaching training camp.
Like I wrote in Sunday's paper, assuming restricted free agents Michael Frolik, Chris Campoli and Viktor Stalberg are signed at some point in the near future, it would give the Hawks 27 players in the mix for jobs in the fall. That includes Ben Smith, Marcus Kruger, Jeremy Morin, Kyle Beach and Brett McLean.
It certainly would seem general manager Stan Bowman is going to make a trade, particularly with a hole still to fill at center on the second line.
The longer negotiations with Frolik, Campoli and Stalberg drag on, the more chances improve that they could be in play for a trade. Bowman was pretty adamant the other day that he would get his three RFAs signed, but it would seem as if the players have lost a lot of leverage with the recent additions of Andrew Brunette, Steve Montador, Sean O'Donnell, Jamal Mayers and Dan Carcillo.
“I'm confident we're going to get them signed,” Bowman said.
Here's how the depth chart might look today:
Brunette – Toews – Kane
Smith – Sharp – Hossa
Frolik – Bolland – Olesz
Carcillo – Mayers – Bickell
Spares – Stalberg, Kruger, Morin
Keith – Leddy
Hjalmarsson – Seabrook
Campoli – Montador
O'Donnell – Scott
Crawford and Salak
Of course, adding a second-line center would change things. Sharp could go back to left wing on the first line with Toews and Kane, with Brunette dropping to the second line with Hossa and the new center.
If there is no trade and Bolland slides up to second center with Brunette and Hossa, it would have to mean Kruger shows in camp he can be the third-line guy.