Blackhawks reporter: Penguins winger Dominik Kahun worthy of positive reviews |
Breakfast With Benz

Blackhawks reporter: Penguins winger Dominik Kahun worthy of positive reviews

Tim Benz
Chicago Blackhawks center Dominik Kahun plays against the Colorado Avalanche in the third period Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, in Denver.

I’ve given a wholehearted endorsement of the Penguins-Blackhawks trade. It feels like most fans and media types in Pittsburgh have, as well.

Are we perhaps overrating Dominik Kahun as the return for Olli Maatta, though? Well, if you are expecting Mark Recchi circa 1991, maybe.

But if you are buying most of the scouting reports on him — a young, fast, responsible playmaker who is good both ways, excellent 5-on-5, and has positive offensive ability with an upside — then, no. You aren’t.

Because based on what we hear from Chicago, that praise for Kahun isn’t spin or hyperbole. That’s exactly what the Penguins are getting.

I spoke with David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune and 670 The Score in Chicago for our daily podcast. And he offered the same positive attributes to describe Kahun after his rookie season as we have heard since the trade was executed Saturday.

LISTEN: Dominik Kahun worthy of positive reviews

As Haugh describes it, the Blackhawks allowed themselves to deal the 23-year-old because they feel they have talented forward depth, but they are in significant need of help on the blue line. And even though Chicago may be “buying low” on Maatta, he could be an upgrade compared to what they suited up on defense last year.

That said, when I heard Stan Bowman speak over the weekend, I almost got the sense he was trying to convince himself that he made a good trade. Almost as if he was talking himself into the deal after the fact.

Haugh had Bowman on his show Monday, and I asked him if he got that same vibe.

“I think that maybe he sounded that way to me, too,” Haugh said. “I think he wants to feel like in a perfect world he got the better of the trade.”

But Haugh said that when Bowman “went to bed” after the trade, if he wasn’t feeling regret, then it was simply cautious optimism in the hope that he plugged a hole for his own team.

That’s even if he gave up what may turn out to be superior return for the other club — in this case, the Penguins.

“Kahun was not a guy he was looking to trade,” Haugh said. “But the opportunity came to address a need that was a bigger priority for the Hawks in the offseason and he took advantage.”

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.