Blackhawks scratch Gustafsson vs. Predators, no trade reportedly imminent
Jonathan Kozub / National Hockey League / Getty

With the trade deadline around the corner, the Chicago Blackhawks made defenseman Erik Gustafsson a healthy scratch for Friday's contest versus the Nashville Predators.

There is no imminent trade involving the blue-liner, but the Blackhawks do have "options with Gustafsson," according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. He adds the team is protecting its asset in case a deal materializes.

Gustafsson had a breakout season in 2018-19, posting 60 points in 79 games. He's struggled to match that production this year, though, accruing just 26 points in 59 contests so far.

Still, as a 27-year-old pending unrestricted free agent counting for just $1.2 million against the salary cap, Gustafsson could garner interest leading up to Monday's deadline.

After a midseason charge, the Blackhawks are now likely to be deadline sellers. Chicago entered Friday's game eight points back of a wild-card spot with just one win in its last 10 contests.

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Blackhawks scratch Gustafsson vs. Predators, no trade reportedly imminent
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