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HawkCast Answers

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks

I believe that the next player behind Kane and Toews to be considered untouchable would have to be Cam Barker. Defensemen almost always require a few extra years to fully reach their potential, and Barker is no different. Although his progress this year with the big club has been a little slow by most fans’ standards, I believe it would be a huge mistake to give up on his development and trade him to another team. I would hate to watch Barker blossom after being prematurely traded away, much like another former 1st round pick defenseman Braydon Coburn did this year. I’ll bet Atlanta GM Don Waddell is still bothered by that one. -- Josh Davich, Portage, Indiana

I consider James Wisniewski to be an untouchable player in the trade deadline because he always gives 100% for the Hawks, puts the team ahead of himself, sticks up for his teammates, and is always dependable back on defense. I think that the Hawks will be sellers in the trade deadline because as of late the team has gone through a tough stretch and I think Dale Tallon will try to free up some cap room to sign some players in the off-season. -- Daniel Manz

I feel that the one biggest untouchable player on the 'Hawks other than Toews or Kane is definitely Patrick Sharp. He has emerged as one of the best two-way players in the game, and is still incredibly underrated. All of his skills, from his speed to his shot to his defensive awareness, make him someone the Blackhawks should keep for a long time. Unfortunately, I'd have to say that nobody else would be considered untouchable. It's been a roller coaster year, and aside from the kids and Sharpie, anyone else could be tradeable. -- Louie Campagna, Elmwood Park, Illinois

There are of course some obvious "untouchable" candidates: Toews, Kane, Seabrook, Keith, Buff, Wiz, Sopel (new contract) and Havlat (though this is debatable). -- Steve Borko, Madison, Alabama

Duncan Keith is untradeable because he is one of the few players in the NHL that can log around thirty minutes a game. He is a versatile defenseman that can play in many situations (power play, penalty kill) and has incredible speed. He is part of the youth movement that is shaping the Blackhawks organization. -- Dave Zintak, Willow Springs, Illinois

Buff and Keith. -- Zachary Metz

I really like the Hawks the way that we are set up right now. Sure, we could use a good veteran blue-liner but I'm not sure who we would be able to give up. I think all of our young guys should be given a year or two to come into their own and really let the chemistry grow between them. Six of our 7 top defensemen are under the age of 24. Sopel is the oldest at 31. I would put the entire defense in the "untouchable" category. The forwards are a bit different. Other than the obvious Toews and Kane I think that Skille, Sharp, Ruutu, and Havlat should all be "untouchable". Skille and Ruutu I think can be very special players in the future, Sharp has been our best player this year, and Havlat would be tough to trade. Havlat seems to be having a rough year, and with his contract and injury history we would get less then we should for a player of his caliber. -- Patrick Fealey, Crown Point, Indiana

Duncan Keith can NOT be traded. Dunc has been a huge key in our defense and is a great leader for the team. Watching him grow as a leader and player has been tremendous. This year he really has stepped up and has boosted his game to another level. His hard work has paid off and it shows because he was on the All-Star Team. He did great in the fastest skater competition but unfortunately there was a problem with his time. I would be devastated and upset if I saw Keith was traded. He is a key player on our team and is someone the Hawks need to hold on to for a long time. -- Tom Rynne Glen Ellyn, Illinois

While several players other than Kane and Toews are untouchable, I feel getting rid of Tuomo Ruutu would be the biggest mistake. While the goals haven't quite been there this year, the guy is a catalyst on the ice. Whether it’s the ability to start and develop a play, a big hit, or merely going all out for the puck, there is rarely a Ruutu shift that leaves you disappointed. I think in a blue collar city like Chicago, guys like Ruutu and Burish MUST be untouchable around the deadline. -- Jeff Medina Notre Dame, Indiana

I think to answer to the question for this week would defiantly be Brent Seabrook. I know I’m not the only person who sees that he has really come into his own this season. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. His ice time has gone up dramatically this season. He is a good physical present out on the ice. I am excited to see his future her on the Blackhawks and I believe he will be around the organization for many years to come. -- Alissa Bartlett, Aurora, Illinois

Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are untouchable in my mind. Over the past few years they have been able to get serious playing time on the back line and have proved themselves to be stable defensemen. This season particularly, due to the injuries, the two of them took over a huge role, including logging lots of minutes and solidified themselves as our top defensemen. They both are still young and continue to improve. I see no reason to move them as they fit right into our system. -- Erin Berry, Lindenhurst, Illinois

Number 7 Brent Seabrook - young defensemen with size and skill are golden. Seabrook is just on the verge becoming a number 1 or 1a defense guy. A bigger Chelios is my hope for Seabrook, great defense and good offensive skills with a bit of an edge as well. There are a few others I wouldn't want traded one that might surprise some people. My 2nd guy would be Ruutu - he wouldn't bring equal value back because of his numbers but his physical play would be sorely missed IMO. -- Jeff Cardwell

I think the one player the Blackhawks should deem untouchable other than Kane and Toews is Patrick Sharp. Sharp has set career marks in goals and points in each of the last two seasons, and has shown steady improvement in almost every aspect of his game. The Hawks practically stole him from Philadelphia a few years ago and that move has paid huge dividends. He has great on-ice chemistry with Jonathon Toews, which should be kept intact for the foreseeable future. He earned a long term deal about a month ago, and I would hate to see him play out that contract with another team. -- Matt Corvo, Bolingbrook, Illinois

Jack Skille is untouchable. Can't trade a 2005, 7th overall draft choice that hasn't been given a good honest look. Skille has played well while he has been up, he's a character kid, and will likely be a productive top six forward for the Hawks for a while. If he doesn't produce on the score sheet, I am sure he can contribute in other ways. Sharp is untouchable. Regardless of his offensive production (which has been great) he is a leader who never takes a shift off, plays any role he is asked and provides an example of what a hockey player should be. Keith is untouchable. Keith is a +17 on a team that is a very respectable +13. He just went to his first all star game in his young 3 year career and appears to be on his way to becoming an elite NHL defenseman. He's fast, defensively responsible, moves the puck well and is developing veteran defensive instincts and stick positioning. I think Wisniewski and Seabrook are untouchable as well. They're both solid, young defenseman that will continue to improve. Jack Burke You cannot trade Seabrook, Keith, Wiz, and Buff. Although the first three are not at #1 defenseman level, they all three are continuing their development and can play in the NHL in anybody's top six. Patrick Sharp is a keeper. -- Bill Placzek, St. Petersburg, EU

I think that Patrick Sharp is untouchable when it comes to trading. I think that it would be a huge mistake made by the Blackhawks to trade him because every game he puts 110% in. I would be so disappointed if Sharp got traded because he is a great inspiration to me and to the team. He definitely doesn't deserve to be traded because he is one of the most hardworking players I have seen in hockey. -- Haley Basinger

It is absolutely imperative that the Blackhawks do everything in their power to keep both Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook on the roster. These two defensemen are the future of the Hawks blue line, much like Kane and Toews are the future of the Hawks offense. As many note, it takes defensemen a little bit more time to become acclimated to the NHL game, and Keith and Seabrook already have valuable experience under their belt (as is evident by their play this year.) Keith made his first All-Star appearance this year, and I see Seabrook joining him there in the near future. Both players have been asked to handle an extreme work load as of late, many games spending 30 minutes or more on the ice, and they have handled the responsibility spectacularly. It would be shames to watch either of these guys’ magnificent careers unfold in another uniform. I am begging Dale Tallon on this one: PLEASE KEEP THESE GUYS IN CHICAGO!!! -- Tom

As a loyal Blackhawk fan I support this team through thick and thin. However I would be completely devastated with the trade of Tuomo Ruutu. The team would definitely feel the loss of his spectacular passion, team effort, and skill. This season especially Ruutu has been able to show the fans that he is a key player to this Original Six team. His value is insurmountable as he can play offensively, defensively, aggressively, and effectively. He is a passionate hockey player in that he LOVES the game and just happens to be good at it as a bonus. Ruutu is also a Hawks veteran and this is rare with all these rookies around. He is irreplaceable in my book and I hope that everyone (especially Dale) in the Hawks organization strongly agrees. -- Jeff

I'm taking the initiative to add our only All-Star representative and defensive leader, Duncan Keith to the Kane/Toews "other than" list. With that said, I would be most devastated to find out Tuomo Ruutu got traded. Since Tuomo holds the longest tenure with the team and has been with us since his rookie year, I see him as the only player who is 100% Blackhawk... a son of the team. I think his non-stop energy on ice and his unwillingness to quit makes him the heart of the team. He is still a young exciting player and I hope we get to see him develop into a great as a Chicago Blackhawk. -- JT

Brent Seabrook is untradeable. He goes many times unnoticed because he's not necessarily a "flashy" player, but is as steady as they come on the blue line. He logs a lot of ice time, plays in every situation, and has a "heavy" shot. Being a young player, his best years are yet to come. -- Luke Zintak, Willow Springs, IL

Adam Burish is absolutely indispensable. While he is not a scorer, or even a finesse player, he is one of the hardest workers on this young team. His leadership in the locker room is much more valuable than a few points, because the Hawks have plenty of scoring power. His role on the team is equally important. He's a grinder, and never backs down from a fight. Adam brings up team unity and moral, Savard loves him, and is an integral part of the future of the Blackhawks. -- Kevin Gottlieb

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