I've had a little more than 24 hours to digest this trade now: The Blackhawks sent defenseman James Wisniewski and minor-league center Petri Kontiola to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for center Samuel Pahlsson, minor-league defenseman Logan Stephenson and a conditional draft pick.
My reaction: Meh. It doesn't make the Hawks significantly better. It doesn't make the Hawks any worse. It's a No. 5 defenseman for a third-line center. Doesn't excite me. Doesn't devastate me either.
The reaction from most Blackhawks fans was what you might expect. Wisniewski (left) is a fan favorite and all-around good guy, and you know what happens when fan favorites get dealt: The natives howl at the moon.
I've seen fans dismiss Pahlsson's potential contribution entirely, outright declaring that he isn't good enough to play for the Blackhawks. That response to this trade leaves me shaking my head.
There is a downside to this trade. Pahlsson has mono. He hasn't played since Jan. 31. It's possible he won't play for a couple weeks more. It's possible he'll be too weak to play well when he comes back. I acknowledge that.
But what if Pahlsson comes back and plays well? He was a checking-line center on the 2007 Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks. He took a regular shift and helped in shutting down high-powered teams like Detroit and Ottawa during that playoff run.
He's won 53 percent of his face-offs this year. Immediately, he becomes the Hawks best man in the circle. And he's 21 months removed from raising the Stanley Cup. Yet people think he isn't good enough to play for the Blackhawks, who haven't won a playoff game in seven years? Seriously?
Pahlsson has taken (and won) critical defensive zone draws in the Stanley Cup Finals. When it comes down to it, who do you want taking a critical face-off? Pahlsson or Colin Fraser? Pahlsson or Dave Bolland? Pahlsson or Kris Versteeg? I'll take Pahlsson. Maybe, just maybe, he'll be a valuable role guy.
Please folks, let's see how this trade plays out. The Hawks didn't trade a top-four defenseman or a top-six forward. They didn't acquire one either. Right now, it's a wait-and-see kind of move.