Coors Side Seats: Jonathan Toews
The Chicago Blackhawks traded Marian Hossa and Vinnie Hinostroza to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, parting with a promising young forward in order to clear out a troublesome contract.
The Blackhawks also sent defenceman Jordan Oesterle and a third-round pick in the 2019 draft to the Coyotes for forwards Marcus Kruger, MacKenzie Entwistle and Jordan Maletta, defenceman Andrew Campbell and a fifth-round pick in next year's draft. Kruger was drafted by Chicago and spent his first seven seasons with the Blackhawks before he was traded to Vegas last July.
The 39-year-old Hossa did not play last season because of severe side effects from medication to treat a progressive skin disorder. He isn't expected to play again, but he is signed through the 2020-21 season at a $5.275 million cap hit.
Hossa signed a $63.3 million, 12-year deal with Chicago in July 2009, and the winger played a crucial role in the Blackhawks going from promising young team to a run of three Stanley Cup titles in six seasons. But the Blackhawks missed the playoffs last season for the first time in a decade, and there is pressure on general manager Stan Bowman to get the team back on track.
"Marian's long-term contributions to the club will never be forgotten," the team said in a statement. "His performance as a player was always appreciated, but it is his special qualities as a teammate, a leader and a person, that will more than anything leave its mark on all of us who have come to love and respect the very humble way he goes about everything he does."
The trade gets Hossa's contract off Chicago's books, but it comes at a cost. Hinostroza, a 24-year-old Chicago native, set career highs with seven goals and 18 assists in 50 games last season, and the 26-year-old Oesterle also showed promising signs last year.
"Vinnie is a dynamic, right-shot forward with high-end skill," Arizona general manager John Chayka said in a statement. "We expect he will continue to grow his game with increased opportunity."
Oesterle had five goals and 10 assists in 55 games last season. He played in just 25 games with Edmonton over his first three NHL seasons before making the most of his opportunity with Chicago.
"Jordan is a mobile, puck-moving defenceman who will join our great group on the back end," Chayka said. "He breaks out pucks very well and will join the rush offensively."
Arizona and Chicago have been frequent trade partners over the years, and the lowly Coyotes also have shown a willingness to absorb problematic contracts in exchange for prospects and draft picks. They acquired Chris Pronger in a trade with Philadelphia three years ago, and Pronger's last game was in 2011. They took on Pavel Datsyuk's cap hit in a trade with Detroit in 2016.