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January 4, 2012 | 12:35pm ET
Hawks closing in on trade?
By Tab Bamford, Chicago Correspondent
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks have made a number of roster moves lately that could be an indication that they're taking stock of their organizational depth before making a deal.

Already this season, the Blackhawks have recalled Ben Smith, Jeremy Morin, Brandon Pirri and, most recently, Jimmy Hayes from their AHL affiliate in Rockford (IL). Hayes scored his first NHL goal in Monday night's loss to the Oilers.

On Wednesday morning, defenseman Dylan Olsen was recalled from Rockford and forward Andrew Shaw was added to the active roster, while Marcus Kruger and Steve Montador were both placed on injured reserve.

Olsen, the top blueline prospect in the organization (with all due respect to Brian Connelly), is listed at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds and was Chicago's first round pick (28th overall) in the 2009 Entry Draft. He has one goal, one assist and 38 penalty minutes in 30 games with the IceHogs this year. Olsen turned 21 on Tuesday.

Shaw, 20, was selected in the fifth round (139th overall) in 2011, signed an entry-level deal only Tuesday. Prior to the season, Shaw signed a contract with the Rockford IceHogs and has been with the Hawks' AHL affiliate all season. He has been impressive, scoring 12 goals with nine assists in 33 games. Shaw has also accumulated 80 penalty minutes for the IceHogs this year, and fought Daniel Carcillo during training camp in September.

Shaw is the fourth 2011 selection to receive an entry-level contract from the organization, following Brandon Saad, Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault. McNeill, Danault and Shaw have all signed entry-level deals within the last week, and neither Shaw nor Olsen is considered by most to be NHL-ready.

Chicago hasn't been bashful about admitting to shopping for another defenseman and a top-six forward. The team is interested in adding a power forward to play opposite Patrick Kane or a second line center.

Kruger has been a favorite inside the organization for over a year, and had emerged as a solid defensive center who had skated on Chicago's second line before dealing with a recent concussion. Coach Joel Quenneville admitted after practice on Tuesday that the 21-year-old had taken a step back in his recovery, and was subsequently placed on injured reserve.

Considering the Hawks' have been carrying 22 or 23 players on their NHL roster all season, the recent player movement between the parent club and their AHL affiliate seems to indicate a move could be coming soon.

Tab Bamford is a Columnist for TheFourthPeriod.com and the Chicago Correspondent for The Fourth Period Magazine.

More Trade Deadline Info 
List of Trades |
No-Trade/No-Movement Clauses | Top 25 Available Players | Team-by-Team Cap Info

 
 
 
 
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