The Chicago Blackhawks and general manager Stan Bowman aren’t messing around.
They continue to load up their roster ahead of Monday’s trade deadline, gearing up for another potential run at the Stanley Cup.
After picking up veteran defenseman Christian Ehrhoff from L.A. earlier on Friday, the Blackhawks acquired forwards Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Phillip Danault and a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
The move adds depth to an already strong cast of forwards in Chicago, which already landed Andrew Ladd in a deal with Winnipeg.
Weise, 27, was in the midst of a career year with the Habs. He had 14 goals and 26 points in 56 games and can provide versatility as a bottom-six forward and a physical presence, which should be a factor, especially if the Blackhawks get into a series against the more physical teams — L.A., Anaheim, St. Louis — in the West.
He was also able to chip in offensively in the playoffs for Montreal, particularly two years ago, and the Blackhawks could get a boost in secondary scoring if Weise can translate that to his time in Chicago.
Fleischmann signed a PTO with the Habs in September, before agreeing to a one-year deal. He now goes from a team that is likely to miss the playoffs to a team that could make another deep run.
Where, exactly, he slots into the lineup remains to be seen but he could be used as another depth, bottom-six forward and perhaps on the penalty kill as well.
For the Habs, they get a second-round pick, albeit a few years down the road, and a 23-year-old center in Danault, who is familiar Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin.
In terms of point production, Danault has shown progression over his previous two seasons for Rockford in the AHL. In 30 games this season with the Blackhawks, he scored once with five points.
“Phillip Danault is a young and gifted player who will be part of our core group of young forwards for many years to come,” said Bergevin in a statement.
“I am very pleased to have him join our organization. As a member of the Blackhawks management group, I was instrumental in the selection of Phillip in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.”