The Chicago Blackhawks traded winger Jeremy Morin to the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Tim Erixon on Sunday. But this was more than a simple player swap; it was the symbolic end to the Dustin Byfuglien trade from four years ago. At this point, it is safe to say that trading Byfuglien was a bust for the Blackhawks.
In that 2010 trade, the Blackhawks sent Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers for Morin, Marty Reasoner, Joey Crabb, a Round 1 draft pick and a Round 2 draft pick
That trade fared well for the Thrashers, who are now the Winnipeg Jets. While Sopel, Eager and Aliu are no longer playing in the NHL, Byfuglien has blossomed into an NHL star. Everyone the ‘Hawks received in return have not panned out.
In all fairness — to both Morin and Blackhawks’ GM Stan Bowman — the trade was imbalanced from the get-go by Chicago’s requirement to create cap space. It was a salary dump to make room for salary increases for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The ‘Hawks gave up talent they could not afford in exchange for draft picks and prospects. That was the gamble.
Here is a breakdown of every player and pick the Blackhawks received, and how each one worked out.
Marty Reasoner – The Blackhawks held onto Reasoner just long enough to Photoshop him into a red jersey, then traded him to the Florida Panthers for Jeff Taffe.
Jeff Taffe — Played one game for the Blackhawks, going scoreless, and then signed with the Minnesota Wild.
Joey Crabb – Crabb’s contract expired in July 2010, then he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In other words, the Blackhawks acquired him just so they could let him sign with another team a few weeks later.
2010 First Round Pick – Used this to select center Kevin Hayes.
Kevin Hayes – Played four seasons for Boston College. However, the ‘Hawks did not sign him, so he signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers.
2010 Second Round Pick – Used to select defenseman Justin Holl.
Justin Holl – It isn’t looking to promising for the young prospect. After four seasons of college hockey, Holl is in the ECHL. While he may crack the Blackhawks’ defensive corps one day, it seems unlikely with other defense prospects like Adam Clendening and Klas Dahlbeck waiting in the wings.
Jeremy Morin – Morin’s 15 points in 51 games with the Blackhawks over parts of five seasons were not enough to inspire confidence in coach Joel Quenneville. Despite putting up decent numbers in the AHL, Morin couldn’t break in as a top six forward with the Blackhawks. Nor could he fulfill a role as a checking or energy line player. Traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Tim Erixon.
Tim Erixon – A former first round draft pick of the Calgary Flames, Erixon has played for the New York Rangers and Blue Jackets, but hasn’t really caught on in the NHL in five years. He has played two games so far for Chicago.
Four years later, all the Blackhawks have to show for Byfuglien is a depth defenseman (Erixon) who is more or less filling a roster spot until Trevor Van Riemsdyk returns from injury, and a prospect (Holl) who is a long shot to make the team.
That said, it is time to move on. None of the players the Blackhawks got immediately for Byfuglien et all worked out. The true goal was to create cap space. Had Morin worked out, that would have just been a bonus. ■