Hawks happy with bag of Leafs

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:06 AM ET

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman hopes three young Maple Leafs prospects can help his team to a second Stanley Cup, albeit a cheaper one.

With a salary cap hangover, Bowman has had to send a couple of Cup contributors away for younger, inexpensive players and that included Wednesday’s deal that landed him Viktor Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis for Kris Versteeg.

“They all have different points of strength for us,” Bowman said. “The reason we’ve had this great run is that we’ve had so many young guys.

“We loved Stalberg’s speed and size (6-foot-3). We feel he will complement the great playmakers we have on this team. The other two, we love their speed, competitiveness and the pedigree they bring from playing (for Canada) in the world junior championships.

“We’ve tried to warn our fans that this (championship) team will not stay together, but we would do our best to keep our core together.”

Bowman was vague about how this particular trade came about, with so much speculation the Leafs and other clubs were trying to find a way to get Patrick Sharp away from the Hawks. The Leafs and Hawks huddled at the draft in Los Angeles to make one deal, with the Leafs swapping prospect winger Jimmy Hayes to Chicago, joining younger brother Kevin, whom the Hawks picked. That allowed the Leafs to move up and take the abrasive WHL winger Bradley Ross, who shares Versteeg’s Lethbridge, Alta., birth certificate.


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