Chicago Blackhawks: Erik Gustafsson traded to Calgary Flameson February 24, 2020 at 8:21 pm

The Chicago Blackhawks have been keeping Erik Gustafsson out of the lineup and now he has finally been traded to the Calgary Flames.

The Chicago Blackhawks have been keeping Erik Gustafsson out of the lineup for the past few games for precautionary reasons. That usually implies that a trade is imminent. They have finally pulled the trigger on the trade as he was traded about an hour before the official Trade Deadline. He is off to the Calgary Flames in exchange for conditional draft picks.

The Flames are good. They now have one of the better defense cores in the National Hockey League. They are fighting in a very tight Pacific Division. The additions they have made at the deadline could be exactly what they needed in order to get over the hump. They didn’t have an ideal first half based on their expectations but that could all change.

Gustafsson was a good player for the Hawks but he had many flaws. He was solid offensively at times but there were also times where he was a complete mess in his own zone. Defending wasn’t his thing so if he wasn’t killing it offensively, he appeared to be a struggling player. He currently has six goals and 20 assists for 26 points in 59 games played for Chicago which isn’t terrible, but he is far off his 60 point total from last year.

With Calgary, Gustafsson should be put in more of a position to succeed. When healthy, they have a really solid group. They are a team that should see themselves as a contender. If it all comes together in the end, it remains to be seen. These moves they made, however, could make that much easier for them.

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As for Chicago, they will just have another spot on the blue line to keep giving guys a chance. With Duncan Keith leading the way, this will give guys like Adam Boqvist and Connor Murphy chances to continue growing their game. There are a few guys in the system who are candidates to be there next year as well. This is a trade that could work out for the Flames if Gustafsson thrives in the proper role. For the Hawks, it feels like a situation that the Blackhawks messed up.

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