Blackhawks legend Marty Reasoner was traded today to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Jeff Taffe, ending one of the most prestigious Blackhawks careers ever.
The wheeling and dealing on the West Side continues, all in the hope of putting together the 2010-2011 Chicago Blackhawks. With Antti Niemi's contract arbitration hearing at the end of the month, the Blackhawks cap standing is a fluid as it ever was, and Reasoner, acquired less than a month ago, was the casualty of his newfound team's money problems.
When the Blackhawks acquired Reasoner there was always the possibility that he would be moved, as the Blackhawks have depth at center. Reasoners fate depended on where Patrick Sharp moved. If Sharp were to have been moved to another team, Reasoner would have been the Blackhawks' third line center. But with Reasoner traded, Sharp moves to center. It's chicken-egg argument. Don't expend too much energy thinking about what happened first.
Taffe is a journeyman center/wing who might be able to make the Blackhawks as a fourth liner, but isn't guaranteed anything. A possible injury addition during the season, Taffe will be a Rockford IceHog first and foremost. If injuries were to force the Blackhawks to make a call-up, Taffe would be in the mix, but likely passed over for more cap-friendly players like Rob Klinkhammer or more talented players like Kyle Beach.
The Blackhawks roster remains as I predicted last week, given the situation, that's quite and accomplishment if you ask me. Antti Niemi is next situation to be addressed by the Blackhawks, and with the minor move, I think that the Hawks can get Niemi under contract with relative ease.
Then again, nothing has been easy for the Blackhawks this year, so we will have to wait and see.