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NHL Trade Deadline Rumors: The Chicago Blackhawks are generous deadline buyers. Can the Bruins tempt some spending their way with Loui Eriksson?

The Chicago Blackhawks...a team who are once again looking to buy at the trade deadline...specifically a top winger. With cap issues coming up this offseason and Stan Bowman always willing to bring in a premier rental...can the Bruins catch the Hawks' eye?

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago. Home of one of the (current) strongest teams in the NHL and the defending Stanley Cup champions.

The Blackhawks aren't exactly a team you'd expect to be looking at the deadline for a top-line winger...they have several young, talented players at that position at (relatively) cost-controlled amounts just itching for a chance to step up this playoff season.

Or at least that's the theory. The practice is that Andrew Shaw is currently plugging along on the top powerplay unit and top-six while toiling manfully...but with players like Artemi Panarin and Teuvo Teravainen hanging around there are, shall we say, better options should Joel Quenneville choose to load up his lines at the top end of the roster.

And yet....the Hawks have seemed unable to get anyone to really plug in there. Panarin is having a revelation of a season but the Hawks are reluctant to break the understanding he appears to have with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov. Teravainen has shown flashes of brilliance but has never really settled into a consistently hot streak and other skill types like Marko Dano haven't either.

All of which has led to Jonathan Toews being partnered with Shaw and Richard Panik, which, while effective, may not quite be the level the Hawks have in mine.

Enter Loui Eriksson.

We know what Loui can do - he's broken the 20-goal barrier with the Bruins this season and is consistently one of the best players on the roster. We also know he's an UFA at the end of this season...and the Hawks may well be considering him as an option in their search for a top six winger. After all, they are strongly rumoured to be considering Andrew Ladd - and we've already explained how that means that Loui might be a possible target and indeed a more effective player.

Before we analyse what sort of return the Bruins would be wanting to ask for from the Hawks, let's just return to that "generous" comment for a bit of context.

This time last year, the Blackhawks were willing to give up a first round pick AND a defensive prospect (Klas Dahlbeck) for Antoine Vermette - a player who they saw as a complimentary piece on a Cup team...a role player...indeed, a player worth healthy-scratching for the first two games of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Whatever Antoine Vermette was and whatever ideas Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville had about him - he was definitely not a top-six player, never mind a top-line wing.

Granted, the last pick in the first round is the least valuable first round pick - but if the Hawks are willing to give THAT up for a rental of a roleplaying centre (who by the way was 32 years old, two older than Loui is right now) then it's fair to say that they're not exactly stingy in their shopping.

Luckily, Second City Hockey have saved us the trouble of hunting down who Stan Bowman might be putting on the block by laying it out for us to peruse, so let's have a look here...

Andrew Shaw? It would be nice, but it ain't happening for a rental. Rob Scuderi? Yikes. Bryan Bickell? Dear god, no.

Ville Pokka and Marko Dano? Hello. NOW we might have something to work with.

Dano is an intriguing watch. Like Eriksson he's a smart, responsible two-way forward who can contribute going forward but, for whatever reason he's never broken through with the Hawks after a slow but solid start with the Blue Jackets. He still needs development time but...well, he's one hell of a lot cheaper than Eriksson will be and can join a talented crop of young forwards battling for time in Boston. He's also probably fast becoming the odd man out in Chicago, with Teravainen leaping ahead of him and any number of forwards from the Icehogs piling up behind him looking out for that bottom six spot. He might be a player the Hawks are willing to throw into discussions.

Another player who the Bruins might want to target is Ville Pokka. The ex-Nashville Predator prospect hasn't played an NHL game yet, but already has extensive experience playing against adults after breaking into the Finnish Liiga with Karpat aged 16. He's currently with the Rockford Icehogs and is built like a tank at 6' and 214lbs. He scored 30 points in the AHL last year and is already looking set to surpass that this year - as one of the Hawks' top defensive prospects he'll likely not be cheap either, though, and while the Bruins may want him a little more than Dano, the Hawks for their part will likely want to hold onto him, too.

If the Bruins REALLY want to push hard, then there are players coming up on pay-rises like Shaw who may be able to be prised away with a realy strong push - the Bruins stable of strong defensive prospects could be beneficial here should Sweeney wish to go down that route..although that would seem foolish in the extreme given the Bruins' current defensive struggles.

But the real prize here is Pokka - a top four D with a very high ceiling indeed. Dano is an excellent consolation prize, and in fact is the more likely offer, possibly combined with a pick in a similar fashion to the Vermette deal last year.

But the powerful Finn is who the Bruins should be shooting for to maximise the return on their investment.

It's not like the Blackhawks management have ever been stingy when acquiring pieces for a Cup run in recent history, after all. The Bruins should be trying to turn that largesse to their advantage if they can.