USATSI_9136999_154158418_lowresThe Montreal Canadiens have traded Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann to the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Phillip Danault and a second round draft pick for 2018.

What’s more, the Canadiens will retain 30 percent of Weise’s salary.

The Blackhawks have been stacking their roster over the last while, having acquired Andrew Ladd yesterday and swapping veteran defencemen with the Los Angeles Kings a few hours earlier. For those scoring at home, that’s three trades in two days – and the trade deadline is still to come.

Montreal, meanwhile, has obviously cut its losses on the season. Making the playoffs is a distant, distant possibility at this point and they’re better off looking to the future.

Chicago gets depth on the wings, which is a good thing.

Weise is having a great year. He has 26 points in 56 games, including 14 goals. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, which suggests he could be a rental.

Fleischmann has 20 points in 57 games and he’s qualified as a depth forward. This marks the second year in a row he’s been a deadline-ish acquisition by a contender, which suggests he’s a rental as well. He was picked up by the Anaheim Ducks prior to last year’s post-season run, but he fizzled out down the stretch and started the playoffs on the sidelines.

In trading Danault and waiving Jiri Sekac, the Blackhawks have indicated their intentions of upgrading the forward core. Sekac will likely end up in Rockford in the AHL before long.

If there’s a potential problem down the line for Chicago, it’s that they’ve given up a considerable batch of draft picks. They’ve dealt away their first and second round picks for the coming year’s draft, plus their third and seventh round picks for 2017 are gone along with their second and third round picks for the year after that.

But the Blackhawks are a team that plays to win and they’ve done rather well patching the holes with free agents and trades. This year, it’s business as usual.

As for Montreal, Danault will be a restricted free agent at season’s end. He has 30 games of experience with Chicago and was starting to develop as a decent depth player. He’s a quality skater and can kill penalties, which suggests a long-term role somewhere on the third line.

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