Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is making more calls than he’s receiving. As he described it Sunday, he’s “aggressively” looking to make a trade by today’s 2 p.m. trade deadline.
“If we end up with the group we have in the locker room now, I’m very comfortable with that,” Bowman said. “But we are aggressively trying to improve the team.”
Bowman’s wish list includes depth on defense and at center. A physical, penalty-killing defenseman is the Hawks’ top priority, but if nothing materializes, another center would give coach Joel Quenneville more flexibility with his lines if the Hawks make the playoffs.
Defenseman Jordan Hendry left Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes early in the third period with what appears to be a left leg injury.
“In a perfect world, you’d like to have a defenseman and a center,” Bowman said. “Does that come to fruition? It’s unlikely you’re going to hit both of those. We’re working it on both fronts because you don’t know which one is going to [land] in your lap at the end.”
Bowman made it clear again that the Hawks are not looking to unload a player on their roster, preferring to trade draft picks and prospects. The Hawks have more cap space after Nick Boynton ($500,000 cap hit) was claimed by the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday off waivers.
Last year, the Hawks acquired Boynton from the Anaheim Ducks for future considerations a day before the deadline.
“I like the guys we have in the room,” Bowman said. “I don’t think we’re in the spot where we want to take a significant player and move him out. We’re just starting to come together and seeing some good things.”
Bowman said he didn’t have a trade on the table to decide upon, saying “there is a lot of waiting at this point.” But he does think a flurry of trades leaguewide could happen today.
“Once one or two trades happen, it’s probably going to have a snowball effect,” Bowman said.