Just some random thoughts on various topics to partially fill a week devoid of Blackhawk hockey.
First, the week off comes at a time when the Hawks' overall game had been rounding into shape pretty nicely. Will that momentum be upset? Hard to say.
But a definite positive of the break will be more RnR and less grind for Duncan Keith, who has appeared to many to be playing through some pain/debilitation, likely from an offeseason knee injury. Keith, not coincidentally, has also looked like his individual game has been coming along—and so the rest should hugely benefit the player who arguably drives the Hawks' defense and transition from the back end.
As far as trade activity, I have not heard anything the last few days, beyond what's out there publicly: Stan Bowman doing the Annual Media Denial Tour, and hearing last night that 2 Hawk scouts were among 14 total at the St. Louis/Detroit Game at Joe Louis.
The Hawks do have interest in 2-3 Detroit wingers, although scouting presence is typically not something to get too terribly freaked out over. Scouts "scout" for a lot of reasons—trades, but also to uncover tendencies and weaknesses in future opponents. Scouts also just go to hockey games. It's what they're paid to do.
Still, 2 scouts, especially if one or more is a senior member of the staff, is usually telling, especially at this time of year.
The thing to realize—and this always comes up in February and June—is that GMs public statements simply do not accurately reflect their intentions. They are all playing a negotiating game and they use the press to do so.
They also are being very careful not to disrupt or upset their current roster, agents, etc. So when a GM says "we're not looking to make a deal," or "we haven't talked about that player," or when a "legit" hockey media type says "I spoke with GM X and he said it's not true," uhhh, the buyer beware.
Because the same "legit" hockey media types will then later send tweets that say "Wow, spoke with GM X last week—was told otherwise, completely caught off guard." As happened last week with the hiring of Claude Julien in Montreal.
The point of all this is, where there's enough smoke, there's usually a fire.
I can't say with any certainty what the Hawks will do before 3/1. And I can't say for sure Stan Bowman will accomplish anything (of any significance).
I can say with some certainty, having covered eight March 1 deadlines now, and having had some success breaking accurate trade rumors (that actually happened), that my information at present pretty strongly suggests the Hawks are aggressively, yet quietly, pursuing a number of fairly significant trade options. Detroit, Arizona, Colorado, Tampa are the teams I've heard to this point.
Finally, I would watch for the likely promotion of F Michael Latta, whom I'm told was acquired to upgrade physicality on the lower lines. His promotion will probably come in conjunction with a trade or reassignment of some current Hawk asset.
All I have for now.