When he was selected with the 21st overall pick of the 2002 draft, the Blackhawks were hoping Anton Babchuk one day would fill the void left when they traded Chris Cheliosa tough-as-nails, all-situations defenseman who could play close to 30 minutes a night.
Nearly four years later, Babchuk was dealt Friday from the Hawks to the Carolina Hurricanes for Danny Richmond, who has split time between Carolina and its American League affiliate in Lowell.
[Richmond] is a skilled defenseman who possesses a lot of grit and toughness," Hawks general manager Dale Tallon said in a statement. "He definitely is the type of player who fits with the type of team we are trying to build."
Richmond wasn't in St. Paul Friday, where the Hawks fell 4-1 to the Minnesota Wild.
Minnesota had a 2-0 lead before the 10-minute mark on goals by Kyle Wanvig and Marian Gaborik.
After Duncan Keith cut the lead to 2-1 with a late first-period goal, the Hawks had a golden opportunity to tie the game when they had a two-man advantage for nearly a minute early in the second.
Radim Vrbata had an open net to tie the game, but defenseman Andrei Zyuzin deflected his shot over the net.
Kurtis Foster and Randy Robitaille added goals as the Wild won its second straight to stay within shouting distance of the Western Conference playoffs.
The two teams will meet again Sunday at the United Center.
Babchuk, 21, was sent back to Norfolk on Wednesday after a 12-game stint in which Hawks coach Trent Yawney said he played well initially but gradually saw his game drop off.
Consistency has been Babchuk's biggest problem in the NHL. He possesses a big shot from the point but still is having a hard time learning his position.
Richmond, 21, was a second-round pick by Carolina, 31st overall, in the 2003 draft.
He had one assist in 10 games with the Hurricanes and four goals and 11 assists in 32 games with Lowell. He also was named to the AHL All-Star team.
This is the second trade the Hawks and Hurricanes have made. The Hawks acquired Vrbata in late December for future considerations.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times