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January 20, 2012 | 10:01am ET
Hawks loud and clear about their needs

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has made it clear that he is looking to enhance his 62-point club and has already told teams around the league what he is shopping for.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Bowman is hoping to acquire a quality top-four defenseman and a veteran forward, preferably a center capable of being in the top six, to improve their goals-against-average and their penalty kill, which are both subpar due to defensive inconsistencies.

In the West, only the Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets presently appear to be sellers.

Bowman has yet to engage in talks with Ducks GM Bob Murray, who offered up most of his club at the beginning of the month.

The Hawks have also been linked to Oilers forward Sam Gagner, who is a former teammate and friend of star player Patrick Kane. Gagner is currently in the last year of his contract and could benefit from a fresh a start, but it has been expected to take significant pieces to land him.

Bowman could look to the East where the Buffalo Sabres are most likely looking for a major shakeup and willing to part with forwards Drew Stafford, Derek Roy and Brad Boyes. While the Hawks could benefit from acquiring such players, their prices will likely be high as well.

Meanwhile, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason and former Hawk center Tuomo Ruutu could be investigated by Bowman, who might also contact a former member of the Blackhawks' brass in Winnipeg and make a deal with Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff who is familiar with the prospects in Chicago.

Bowman will have to compete with the Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers, who are also on the lookout for a quality blueliner or forward, while most of them hold more cap room than the Hawks.

The GM has mentioned that he is willing to part with draft picks, prospects and AHL players from Rockford to get what he wants, but didn't rule out trading a depth player on his roster if he thought his role could be filled by an emerging player.

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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