LAS VEGAS -- Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman isn’t hiding the fact that his team is going to be active leading up to Friday’s NHL draft.
"I've had a lot of dialogue, talked to every GM multiple times over the last week," Bowman said on Tuesday. "Lots of phone calls. Obviously, it tends to pick up as you get closer to the draft. ... I'm not trying to diminish it. We are going to have to move some good players out.”
League sources say Kris Versteeg still is the hottest name on the market from the Hawks. There’s a good chance he will change addresses by Friday. Also being shopped are Dustin Byfuglien and the rights to Andrew Ladd. The Hawks wouldn’t mind moving the rights to restricted free agents Ben Eager or Colin Fraser as well.
As for what they would get for one or more of these players, Bowman made it pretty clear: draft picks.
"We're pretty confident where we pick [in the draft], and if we're able to accumulate another pick somewhere, we're hopeful,” he said. “We're looking to do that. We know the draft is important to our franchise. If we can pick up another asset somewhere, that's kind of our goal because we have to continue to have young players developing and coming into our lineup each season."