The big three in Chicago reportedly signed today. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews both for 6.3 a year for five years and Duncan Keith 72 million over 13 years. By my calculations, the Blackhawks need at least 4.5 million off the books to even get under the cap and realistically around 7 million to round out their roster.
Analyzing their roster and cap room, NHLHS will break down the most likely candidates to be moved and what their trade value may be. All value is based on recent trades in the market.
Patrick Sharp, RW – The 27 year old is one of many talented right wings on the team. In theory, this could make him expendable with Kane and Marian Hossa naturally lining up on the right side. Sharp’s cap hit is 3.9 million, a manageable sum if he produces to his potential. His market value is relatively high due to his age.
Projected value: Two young roster players or prospects knocking on the door, preferably a forward and defensemen.
Brian Campbell, D – The 30 year old defensemen carries a lofty $7,142,875 cap hit. Although a big dent in the Hawks cap number he remains an elite puck-moving defensemen who can QB a power-play with the best of them. An argument can be made that shedding Campbell’s contract would alleviate every cap problem Chicago is dealing with. It would also open up a glaring hole on a strong PP, not something a Stanley Cup contender should do. Not to mention there is entirely no way his contract will be moved, Bob Gainey simply does not have the cap space anymore.
Projected value: Too little players with comparable value/contracts.
Brent Sopel, D – A veteran defensemen rarely used in the top 4, Sopel is the definition of expendable. Couple that with his $2.33 million cap hit, the former Canuck is hardly movable. I do not expect many moves by the front office before the off-season but I could imagine putting Sopel on waivers could be their first move.
Projected value: Waivers
Dustin Byfuglien, W/D – Buffy makes a living on parking on front of the net and working hard down low. Still developing into a true power forward, his versatility to play both wing and defense has made him a valuable piece. Dale Tallon’s noted blunder last off-season makes a $3 million cap hit look a little worse, which could make Byfuglien expendable. If this is the case his trade value would be relatively high.
Projected value: Cost-effective young defensemen or late first round pick from a contender. Just a hunch but I would guess the Blackhawks are more willing to deal with a team in the Eastern Conference.
Kris Versteeg, LW – The former Calder Memorial Trophy candidate is the least likely to be traded. His cap hit of $3,083,333 is a steal for the legitimate first-line left wing he is becoming. Despite his second contract being of inflated value, the 23 year old should stay in Chicago for a few more years.
Projected value: Pretty darn high. A top prospect plus a first?
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