Potential Solutions to the Chicago Blackhawks’ Impending Salary-Cap Crisis

February 2nd, 2015 by Jonathan Willis Leave a reply »

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are once again on the verge of seeing a massive pay raise. In 2010, the end of the duo’s entry-level contracts forced the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks to gut their team's depth, sending away a number of useful players and setting the team back significantly. Is such a sell-off in the cards once again?

The situation certainly doesn’t look good. Both Kane and Toews are coming off deals with an annual cap hit of $6.3 million and moving on to new, long-term contracts with an annual cap hit of $10.5 million, adding a total of $8.4 million to Chicago’s books over what the Blackhawks will pay this season.

When these deals were announced in July, that seemed difficult but not insurmountable, as the NHL’s salary cap for 2015-16 was expected to exceed $75 million. Now, with the Canadian dollar plummeting and league revenue dropping along with it, the situation is decidedly more complicated.

Let’s start by considering what next season’s roster will look like. Chicago has eight forwards, four defencemen and two goaltenders under contract for a total of $64.9 ...

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