It sounds like one National Hockey League veteran is about ready to move on from the Chicago Blackhawks.
It is no secret that things simply have not worked out between the Chicago Blackhawks and 28 year old NHL defenseman Brandon Manning, arguably the biggest move of the summer for general manager Stan Bowman. Manning has seen very limited playing time since joining the organization and following the firing of head coach Joel Quenneville that time has evaporated completely. There were reports that Manning and newly appointed head coach Jeremy Colliton had a face to face meeting 2 weeks ago and given the fact that Manning has been made a healthy scratch ever since I think it's safe to say that the meeting between the 2 men did not go particularly well, at least not as far as Manning is concerned.
There has since been speculation that Manning could have potentially demanded a trade but the well established NHL defenseman rejected nay such claims this week when he spoke with Chicago Blackhawks insider Mark Lazerus of The Athletic. It is worth noting however that, although he clearly denies reaching out to his agent to demand a trade, he also makes it very clear that he would be open to the idea of going to a team that actually wants to play him.
“I’ve never been a guy, when things go sideways or things aren’t going well, to call my agent,” said Manning as per Lazerus “Look, obviously I want to be playing. But you hear the rumors, and even with (Rutta) gone now, you’ve still got (Brandon) Davidson and you’ve still got Joki. I want to play every day. So if I’m not going to get that here, and if there’s an opportunity somewhere else, you probably look at those different avenues. But like you said, I’ve got a two-year contract, so I’m not the guy knocking on the door asking to get out of here and asking why I’m not playing every day. I try to be mature about it and understand it.”
There were reports that the Blackhawks have tried to shop him but according to Lazrus a well placed source has revealed to him that there was very little demand for the veteran's services. The Blackhawks will almost certainly have to retain salary if they look to trade Manning and that makes it look like another blunder for the once perfect Stan Bowman.