NHL Trade Figures: Blackhawks Send Alex DeBrincat To Senators

The trade

get senators: Right Winger Alex DeBrincat.

getting blackhawks: A first round pick, No. 7, and a second round pick, No. 39, in 2022 and a third round pick in 2024.


Sean Type: During the “Should Chicago Alex DeBrincat trade” debate, I’ve maintained the same basic stance. Was it embarrassing and sad that the Blackhawks were shopping for a 24-year-old man with 40 goals? Yes. But that didn’t make it the wrong decision either.

The reasoning was good enough: Chicago’s roster is too far off to save, thanks to a sweaty, desperate 2021 offseason by Stan Bowman, which should have left him sacked on merit. Moral failure did Bowman instead of signing Seth Jones, but the end result is unchanged. Because of him, Chicago was awful without trying to be—which takes real effort in the NHL—and now it’s time to dress it up to the hilt.

DeBrincat, other than Patrick Kane, was the most valuable asset of new GM Kyle Davidson. It wasn’t a hard decision… just a rough one. They’re not good and they won’t be for a while. And why would DeBrincat sign a new deal with them? Why would he sign up to spend his best years in purgatory? In five years he will be healthy. The Blackhawks, thanks to Bowman, won’t be.

Anyway, here we are. DeBrincat is a senator—not a devil—and the Blackhawks turned a dollar into a quarter and two dimes. A return like this started to become inevitable as we saw reports that New Jersey’s No. 2 pick wouldn’t be enough for Chicago.

They went for quantity, which rarely succeeds, and that’s what this return represents. I am not a prospect man; However, I do know that “No. 2″ is better than “No. 7”, and that the value we can expect from the other two elements is not enough to move the meter. Ultimately, that’s why I hate this deal for the Blackhawks. We know the broad strokes of what they rejected, and it doesn’t look good. Not at all.

As for Ottawa? DeBrincat fits next to one of the better young cores in the league, and he represents something slightly bigger than his stat line. The Sens goes for it, and that’s important. I’m going to make two risky assumptions here – that DeBrincat is signing an extension with the Sens, and that it’s nothing ridiculous. If that comes through? Big W for Pierre Dorion. What a time to be alive.

senators: A
blackhawks: D

House of Luszczyszyn: This is an extremely intriguing deal for both parties. It seemed odd at first that Chicago would even trade DeBrincat, given his age and ability—an overcorrection for last year’s Seth Jones disaster. But if the team recognizes that it won’t be competitive to fit into DeBrincat’s timeline, it makes sense to maximize returns at what is arguably the peak of its value. That’s especially true with his deal still a year left and a juicy $9 million qualifying offer waiting on the other side.

It’s the qualifying offer that makes things interesting for Ottawa, as it doesn’t give the Senators a lot of time to prove they’re a team worth staying ahead of. There’s a real chance that DeBrincat will run in two years and that’s the big risk here.

But it’s a risk worth taking in terms of Ottawa’s current timeline. The Senators had to take a big hit and get a real difference maker that can move the needle in a substantial way to take the team to the next level. Away from the basement. They cannot afford to be trapped. DeBrincat does so as one of the league’s top goalscorers, with 41 goals last season. Only seven players are expected to score more goals than DeBrincat next season, although the absence of Patrick Kane could disrupt that expectation.

Whether this trade is worth it or not depends on how long DeBrincat stays in Ottawa. The total expected value of the three picks Ottawa traded — seventh, 39th and a 2024 third round — equates to about 10 wins over the next seven seasons. DeBrincat is worth about three wins per season and should meet that goal of 10 wins over the next four years. If he is released early, the senators here will not get their money’s worth.

For Chicago, that calculation makes the deal tastier assuming DeBrincat wouldn’t have stayed for a lengthy and painful rebuild anyway. The addition of DeBrincat to a growing team suddenly makes Ottawa a group worth paying attention to in the Atlantic. The Senators have struggled to retain premium players in the past, but if the club can get back to their winning ways, this time could be different.

senators: A-
blackhawks: B

Corey Pronman: DeBrincat is a legit NHL star winger. He has been a very prolific goalscorer. His skill and sense of hockey are of a high standard and he has a great shot. His skating for an undersized winger has never been his strong point, but he competes hard and is so smart that he overcomes those problems. His deal will soon expire and he’s not far from a free agent, but assuming Ottawa can renew him, he becomes a core veteran who can help the organization take the next step out of this rebuilding.

Chicago, on the other hand, is all-in and just starting to rebuild. We’ll see who they line up with the picks. The number 7 pick, in particular, should get them a top-six forward or top-four defender down the line.

Chicago is getting the future assets they need, but this hurts and speaks volumes about a lengthy, painful rebuild ahead of us – especially getting just one truly premium asset in this deal.

blackhawks: B
senators: B+

(Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki / USA Today)

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