The Chicago Blackhawks sent winger, Ryan Garbutt to the Anaheim Ducks this morning in exchange for Jiri Sekac. On paper, this move may seem insignificant seeing as both players take on bottom six roles and have very similar offensive statistics as the All-Star break approaches. Garbutt posted a 2-4-6 stat line with Chicago in 43 games and Sekac has put up a 1-2-3 line in 22 games with the Ducks.
Beyond the Stat Line
The win here for the Blackhawks lies within the foresight of General Manger, Stan Bowman. Sekac is much younger than Garbutt. Seven years younger to be exact. At just 23, his full NHL potential has yet to be seen. The Blackhawks have been very successful in weaving in youth into their already championship roster.
The Benefit of Q
Head Coach, Joel Quenneville is a master of matching skill sets to maximize potential in young talent. Richard Panik was aquired from Toronto earlier this month and he has already exceeded expectations with two goals in his last two games while skating on the fourth line.
Gearing Up for Another Run
The overwhelming amount of leadership in the Blackhawks locker room should provide the right amount of guidance for Sekac as he adapts to the hockey culture of the windy city. Garbutt provided speed and a non-stop motor to the Blackhawks, but Chicago is fortunate to have a few players that are capable of filling that void. Andrew Shaw is the leader of that segment and rookie Phillip Danault has done well eating up minutes allowing the top six forwards to catch a breath. The Sekac move just may be a chess move into the short term future of another Blackhawk playoff run.