Hawks Bring Connelly Back to Rockford
Stan Bowman continues to stay busy. The Blackhawks general manager made another trade on Wednesday bringing back an old farm hand.
The Hawks trade forward Brad Winchester to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defenseman Brian Connelly. This move could be perhaps a reactionary move to losing Michael Kostka over the weekend. The Hawks had hoped that Kostka would clear waivers but he did not.
Winchester appeared in 55 games for the Icehogs this season tallying 16 goals and 14 assists. The 32 year-old forward had no chance of being called up by the Hawks this season with the new additions of Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard and also the play of several young prospects with the big club as well as in the AHL.
Connelly, even though he has never appeared in a NHL game, will provide some veteran leadership down in Rockford and could be the 8th defenseman for the Hawks if anything were to happen to anyone on the current roster. He has appeared in 50 games this season for the Iowa Wild totaling 32 points with 27 assists and 5 goals.
As I mentioned before this is Connelly's second stint in the Hawks organization. He went undrafted and signed with the Hawks during the 08-09 season and became an AHL All-Star in 2011 & 2012. Connelly was traded during the 2011-2012 season to Calgary in exchange for Brendan Morrison.
After that season he signed a free agent deal with his home state Wild, playing in the AHL for the previously mentioned Iowa team as well as the Houston Aeros.
With the trade deadline a week away I doubt this is the last move that Bowman makes. With Brandon Pirri and Jeremey Morin stuck down in Rockford and neither is getting younger I wouldn't at all be surprised to see one if not both moved for draft picks. Should be an interesting week on and off the ice.