Let's call this one:
Crazy Dale's Deadline Dealin' Madness!!! 6 hours only!!!
According to Bob MacKenzie of TSN, the Blackhawks e-mailed a list of 8 names on their roster to the entire NHL last night, saying that they were entertaining offers. The list:
Now, first, there is no guarantee that such an e-mail went out. But my hunch is, Bob MacKenzie has the journalistic integrity to verify this before posting it, which is quite easy if someone forwards the e-mail to you in confidence.
Beyond that, it is well-documented they had an offer on the table for Peter Forsberg, and another for Brad Richards. As we now know, Forsberg is headed back to the foothills of the Rockies, and there is an internet report that Richards is going to Dallas.
So let's assume there is a grain of truth there.
My guess is the Hawk front office wanted to make a real effort at landing a misssing piece (more scoring) for a playoff push. But failing that (which they knew about 2-3 hours before the e-mail supposedly went out), they want to sell off all their higher-paid, underperfoming, pending FA assets.
Plus, 3/4 of that list has been rumored to have been shopped recently. My guess is the offers have been underwhelming, especially while teams have waited to see what was avaialble, who would be re-signed by their teams pre-deadline, what Forsberg would do, etc.
Some of that has been hashed out, yet serious buyers remain in this market, almost all of them in the East. While Philadelphia has added some offense in Modry and Prospal, Boston, Ottawa, Montreal, Pittsburgh and New Jersey have done nothing. yet. And all have been rumored to have interest in some of the Hawks' soon-to-be-infamous "Gang of Eight." Havlat has been linked to three of those teams.
And in that light, Tallon's e-mail makes a TON of sense. You know you're going to deal Havlat somewhere. The e-mail just ratchets up the bidding.
On the other hand, such an e-mail doesn't send the best message to the players on it, obviously. And now the Hawks must do some serious dealing, either today or in the off-season.
Here's my best guess as to how the day unfolds.
Lapointe, as reported by thefourthperiod.com (kudos to them, looks like they finally get one right, although man, that one was easy to predict) is likely gone.
Havlat goes to Boston, Montreal or Pitt. Look for a goalie and other prospects coming back the other way.
Ruutu goes to Pittsburgh for prospects.
Lang goes to NJ or Minnesota.
Khabibulin: 25% chance Ottawa, 75% chance he stays in Chicago.
Perreault stays, or goes for a 5th-6th round pick.
Bourque stays, or goes for a 4th to 6th round pick.
Should be fun!