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Blackhawks' Colin Blackwell ahead of trade deadline: ‘I don't want to go anywhere'

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TEMPE, Ariz. — The NHL trade deadline is on Friday at 2 p.m. CT, and the Chicago Blackhawks don't have too many assets to deal, unlike last season.

Colin Blackwell is one of the few players who could be moved, but he's trying not to think about it. In fact, if it was up to him, he prefers to stay.

"The only thing that really stresses me out about it, I don't really worry about myself anymore, but I've got a pregnant wife and stuff along those lines," Blackwell said. "So that's the most stressful part. For me I've been through it before and there's so much stuff out of your control.

"For the most part, I try not to think about it, try not to read too much into it. So much stuff can happen. For me, this is where I want to be. I'm enjoying the role that I'm playing. Throughout the course of my career, I always end up changing teams when I finally feel comfortable and I feel like I've got the coaches' and players' trust around me. I feel like I've finally gotten that after a year and a half of being here.

"For me, I don't want to go anywhere. The only thing I worry about is the family around me and how much stuff like that, whether they read it or something does happen, affects them."

This is Blackwell's seventh season in the NHL, and he's played on five teams so far. He feels like he's really made an impression on the coaching staff in Chicago and hopes to be part of what the Blackhawks are building.

"If you look at the trajectory of my career, every single time I have gotten a chance or gotten comfortable, a coach was let go or the end of a contract or expiring contract like right now and you get traded at the deadline or happened to be an expansion draft, stuff like that," Blackwell said. "That has been the trajectory of the last several years.

"Right now, I'm feeling comfortable where I'm at, how I'm playing. This is what you strive for as a player, to feel comfortable and get that confidence from some coaching staff and players that you're playing with and earn your keep in a role on the team."

Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson isn't surprised that Blackwell's name could get some attention from other teams. He selfishly wishes Blackwell isn't moved.

"He’s been great since he’s been back," Richardson said. "A spark plug for us. Even last night, moving his feet, making strong plays all over the ice. He gives you all he’s got and he’s a great penalty killer as well. He’s pretty good in the faceoff circle on the right side for that line. 

"I think he’s a really good utility tool for any team. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody calls about him. We’re happy to keep him, too. Or I am."

Blackwell is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. His $1.2 million cap hit is part of what makes him somewhat appealing to contenders looking for forward depth, especially if the Blackhawks retain a percentage of his salary to crunch the number down even further.

While he would certainly love to chase a Stanley Cup, Blackwell hopes it's here with the Blackhawks and not elsewhere.

"To be honest with you, I try not to think about it," Blackwell said when asked whether it would be bittersweet to be traded to a contender. "Like I said, I'm happy where I am. It's not something I'm trying to think about. I'm grateful to put on an Original Six franchise sweater every single night. I'm grateful for the opportunity that I have here. This is somewhere I would like to be and hopefully it's past the trade deadline as well.

"This is something that I've seen, dating back to last year and seeing what's hopefully building for the future and that's something that I'd like to be a part of. So like I said, I'm comfortable here. I like it, and I'm finally feeling that comfort, which is hard to do in this league when you bounce around a little bit, so I try not to think about that stuff and just try to take it day by day."

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