The phrase “asset management” has become all too familiar in Vancouver. It’s usually used as criticism towards Canucks management, led by GM Jim Benning.
In his first draft as Canucks GM, Benning made a shrewd move by selecting Forsling, a young, skilled defenseman from Sweden, in the fifth round in 2014. Seven months later, Benning moved Forsling to the Chicago Blackhawks for right-shooting defenseman Adam Clendening.
Sixth months later, Clendening was moved to Pittsburgh as part of the deal to bring in Brandon Sutter to Vancouver.
So, for the Canucks, a team that needed depth on defense and young players to begin to compete for NHL jobs: No Clendening. No Forsling.
Vancouver’s loss is Chicago’s gain. By all accounts, the 20-year-old Forsling has been very impressive at Blackhawks training camp and continues to make a case to be on the roster.
The problem is, there’s nowhere for him to play.
By signing Brian Campbell, Michal Kempny and Michal Rozsival to one-year contracts this summer, general manager Stan Bowman solidified his blue line, turning a weak spot into a strength. But with those three guys, plus veterans Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook and Trevor van Riemsdyk, the Hawks already have seven defensemen who aren’t going anywhere.
The Blackhawks wrap up their pre-season schedule Saturday against the St. Louis Blues.