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Blackhawks Fri Mar 02 2012

Hawks Make a Few Tweaks

As the trade deadline approached, the Blackhawks had been struggling with game after game of inconsistent play. For a GM, this means it's time to shake things up.

But Stan Bowman gave the Hawks more of a gentle nudge: He traded enforcer John Scott to the New York Rangers to make room for Johnny Oduya, a defenseman from the Winnipeg Jets.

There are a slew of talented players already on the roster, and it is possible that Bowman's conservative moves are a vote of confidence in the guys he has, but that's a dangerous way to trade, especially given the number of injuries and missed opportunities the Hawks have seen this year. The trades could also reflect a limited market. When more teams are within reach of playoff positions, there's simply less on the table.

Markedly missing from the trades is a center to play with Marion Hossa, for which the Hawks have been in the market for a long time. Whether for budgetary reasons or lack of selection, Bowman ultimately chose to strengthen the back end, which has yet to yield a shutout all season.

Oduya's veteran skills may be able to aid the defense that has thus far primarily relied on the youngest team members, Nick Leddy and Dylan Olsen. Oduya is in the last of his three-year deal and will become an unrestricted free agent after this season with a salary-cap hit of $3.5 million.

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