Welcome Trevor Daley to the trade rumor mill

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When Blackhawks sent Patrick Sharp to Dallas this summer, getting Trevor Daley in return was considered an important piece of the deal.

GM Stan Bowman told CSN Chicago the club “always marveled at Trevor’s ability to skate,” adding “he’ll be a great fit for the style of hockey we play here.”

What a difference a few months makes.

From ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

The Chicago Blackhawks, now healthy on defense, have been getting calls regarding Trevor Daley, since it’s obvious the reigning Stanley Cup champions have a bit of a surplus with 10 NHL capable blueliners.

Given the abundance of teams around the league looking for a defenseman, there should be a market for Daley, although I don’t get the sense the Blackhawks are in any hurry. If they move him, it’s because it’s the right fit and the right deal.

Daley, 32, is in the penultimate of a six-year, $19.8 million deal with a $3.3 average annual cap hit.

And the big question right now is how good — or, bad — a fit he is with Chicago.

After scoring a career-high 16 goals and 38 points last year while playing nearly 23 minutes a night, Daley has really bottomed out with the ‘Hawks. He has no goals and just three assists through 19 games and, stunningly, has seen his ice time plummet to 15:51 per night — this on a team that spent a month without Duncan Keith, and has debuted two rookie d-men in Erik Gustafsson and Viktor Svedberg.

Hence the trade talks.

Of course, LeBrun does point out the ‘Hawks don’t appear in any rush to move Daley, which makes sense. He’s less than 20 games into a major overhaul — prior to the trade, Daley had spent all 11 years of his career in Dallas — and, per Bowman, was acquired to help the ‘Hawks now, and defend their Stanley Cup championship.

If that’s the case, a trade involving Daley won’t be one netting Chicago picks or prospects in return.

It’ll have to be a straight-up, good ol’ fashioned “hockey trade.”