Mar 12, 2010, 10:05 PM EDT
In my mind, the Chicago Blackhawks mortgaged a considerable amount of their future when they added Marian Hossa last off-season. Last March I wondered aloud how they’d squeeze their terrific trio of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith under the cap even before they added the gifted bridesmaid.
Well, it seems like the team will retain the services of those three players (and Hossa) after all. Of course, those moves will come at a cost. Without even filling a 20-man roster, the Hawks would be over the cap if the 2010-11 season started today. Before I break down their sticky situation, here’s a quick breakdown based on numbers from CapGeek.com.
Chicago’s 2010-11 cap commitments (some cap hits rounded up for simplicity):
Forwards (9 of 12 spots covered): Toews (6.3); Kane (6.3); Hossa (5.28); Sharp (3.9); Bolland (3.38); Versteeg (3.08); Byfuglien (3); Kopecky (1.2); Brouwer (1.03)
Defense (4 of 6): Campbell (7.14); Keith (5.54); Seabrook (3.5); Sopel (2.33)
Goalies (1 of 2): Huet (5.63)
With three forwards, 2 defensemen and 1 goalie needed, the Hawks would still be about $800,000 over next year’s cap … and the cap could go down next season.
Now, the ‘Hawks are (obviously) going to need to make some moves. It might be best to break the team down into five categories, then.
Not going anywhere
Hossa, Kane, Toews and Keith = about $23.4 million
Most GMs won’t want these two
Last year, I couldn’t imagine a scenario in which a GM would trade for Brian Campbell (unless someone kidnapped a GM’s daughter or something). Yet considering the fact that Glen Sather found a way to trade Scott Gomez, I have to admit that just about anything is possible.
Campbell, Huet = a little under $12.8 million
Overpaid, but not as much as Campbell
Kudos to Stan Bowman for exchanging Cam Barker for Kim Johnsson, a decent player who most importantly will see his $4.8 million+ deal expire once this season is over.
Bolland, Byfuglien, Sopel = $8.71 million
Ouch, the fans aren’t going to be happy
The Hawks might have to get rid of some good players to make this work.
Sharp, Versteeg, Seabrook = about $10.5 million
Valuable Free agents
Let’s not forget that there are some valuable guys who would have to take unbelievable discounts to return. Antii Niemi, John Madden and Niklas Hjalmarsson would all be sorely missed.
There are plenty of variables at play here. Teams can stash NHL-quality players in the minors, for instance. Still, if there is any truth to the rumor that Chicago had an opportunity to get rid of Huet, they better win a Cup or that move will haunt them. For such a promising young group, it’s a real shame that Blackhawks management seemingly went the “now or never” route. Considering all the problems with fax machines and ill-advised free agent contracts, it’s hard for me to give Chicago’s management the benefit of the doubt. Anyone can draft Kane or Toews, but it takes someone with vision to surround them with talent (for more than a couple years).
- Wild hoping last change can help turn the tide versus Avs 0
- Wild changes: Kuemper starts, Brodziak sits, Heatley draws in 0
- No hearing scheduled for Richards after Couture spear 6
- Kings’ Dustin Brown: ‘We got our [expletives] kicked’ 14
- Feeding frenzy: Sharks devour Kings to take 2-0 series lead 23
- Canadiens push Lightning to brink of elimination with 3-2 win 31
- WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks (Game 2) 0
- Bruins handle Red Wings 4-1, tie series 1-1 41
- Flyers overcome two-goal deficit to finally win at MSG 68
- NHL suspends Seabrook three games for charging into Backes 91
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (152)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (116)
- Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh (113)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (111)
- That’s a raise: Flyers sign MacDonald to six-year, $30 million extension (91)