Well - it's been a busy couple of days in Chicago sports. There have been so many transactions on the baseball, hockey and even football fronts since Thursday that I couldn't even keep up. Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks were the main culprits; someone must've had a Redbull.
Let's see who's been added to my Blackhawks All-Time Roster binder:
Yesterday, in their first big move of the day, the 'Hawks sent the struggling Rob Scuderi back to the team with which he won a Stanley Cup with in 2012, the LA Kings, in exchange for the also-struggling defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. Classic change-of-scenery trade.
Here's hoping Christian can regain his form and solidify the Chicago defense.
However, the buck didn't stop there:
No, no, no - rumor had it that Bowman was still intent on finding a winger for the Teuvo line. Of course, I imagined that meant I should keep my ears open over the course of the next few days, not the next few hours.
Later that same day, the Blackhawks found their man in Tomas Fleischmann... and Dale Weiss too from the Canadiens. The move cost them the young and potential-filled Philip Danault; but, you've got to give quality to get quality.
I don't have a card of Weiss yet; however, luckily, I did have that beautiful bird's-eye view from 2012-13 UD sitting around. Hopefully he pulls a few of those off in a red and black sweater!
Still - those weren't the biggest moves made by the Chicago hockey squad...
The day before, right before the Blackhawks were due to take the ice at the UC against the hated Predators, Bowman & Co. pulled the trigger on a deal to bring Andrew Ladd back to Chicago, who was last on hand to help hoist the 2010 Stanley Cup.
The fan favorite winger returned in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets, at the cost of Marko Dano (who, despite struggling this season at the NHL level, is still filled with talent), a first-round pick in the 2016 draft and a conditional third-round pick in the 2018 draft. Again, you have to give quality to get quality.
After this firestorm of activity, the Blackhawks look to be unstoppable on paper. These reinforcements will hopefully put the team over the edge as they look to defend their Stanley Cup Championship.
Of course, the transaction blitzkrieg was not only found on the ice; in fact, transactions were raining down on the diamond, as well:
Dependable fourth outfielder Chris Coghlan was surprisingly traded away to Oakland in exchange for bullpen pitching prospect Aaron Brooks, of whom I do not yet have a card. No, this isn't the same Aaron Brooks who currently plays for the Bulls either; though, with the craziness that's been going on in Chicago sports player movement, I almost wouldn't be surprised.
This move made so much more sense when it's sister move was announced an hour later:
By now, we all have read about the drama that came with Dexter Fowler's surprise re-singing with the Cubs on Thursday. To briefly review, it had been widely reported that Dex was signing a three-year deal with the Orioles. That said, as we've repeatedly learned, any agreement with the Orioles should be taken with a grain of salt.
Everything reportedly broke down over the inclusion of an opt-out and Fowler ended up back in Cubbie blue (one-year deal, with mutual option), the result of a brief and clandestine negotiation.
Needless to say, this makes the Cubs outfield corps ridiculously insane deep. A starting lineup of Schwarber in left, Fowler in center, Heyward in right with Jorge Soler as the next man up is exceptionally strong. Thus, the next move the Cubs made left some scratching their heads...
Yes, the very next day, the cubs went out and inked the aging and recently-ineffective Shane Victorino to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League camp.
While, on the surfance, this seems like a very odd move to make - after all, look at that depth I was talking about. However, it as reported that the parties had a deal in place before Fowler came back on the table and the Cubs went ahead and still honored the agreement once Dex was back in the fold.
As it stands, the former Phillie fly-chaser is going to have a hard time cracking the roster and he has expressed a desire to stay out of AAA; thus, I don't see him sticking around come April.
Meanwhile, while all of this craziness was going on, a significant gridiron move was lost in the shuffle:
While not a player acquisition and more of a roster move than a transaction, the Bears placed the franchise tag on their only proven wide reciever on Friday. There had been rumblings about trying to trade the oft-injured star due to some supposed distaste for the city of Chicago on Alshon's part; but, thankfully wiser heads prevailed.
Really, he's one of their only proven talents anywhere on the field, offense or defense. In short, the rebuild is going to be painful next season.
Phew! So much to cover, but I think I got it all in there. I think I could use a few days to recover from this roller coaster of emotions.
Here's hoping these moves all work out for the best!