Report: Blackhawks’ van Riemsdyk is ‘available’ on the trade market

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Trevor van Riemsdyk has only played one game this season, and it didn’t go all that well. The 25-year-old defenseman was stuck in his own end for much of the Blackhawks’ season-opening loss to St. Louis, and he’s been a healthy scratch ever since.

Now comes word from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that Chicago could be looking to trade van Riemsdyk for help up front.

First, a caveat: Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune followed up on Friedman’s report and tweeted that there did not “appear to be anything serious in the works at the moment.” Hine also noted that van Riemsdyk has a low cap hit — just $825,000 for the next two seasons, per Cap Friendly — so if the cap-strapped ‘Hawks do trade him, they either can’t take back much salary, or they’d have to shed it some other way (would they be willing to part with Marcus Kruger?)

But if the Blackhawks are indeed looking for help up front — and remember, they reportedly kicked tires on Nail Yakupov, so it’s safe to assume they are — dangling van Riemsdyk does make sense. He may have fallen short of replacing Johnny Oduya last season, but he could still help a team in a bottom-pairing role, or possibly in a more significant role.

He’s just less helpful to the ‘Hawks, who have Brian Campbell, Michal Kempny, and the surprising rookie, Gustav Forsling, now. Their depth issues are up front, not on the back end anymore.