CHI Looking To Deal?

That has been the talk, for a while now.

The fact remains, with a core of young talent needing to be locked up, before being woo’ed with RFA offers, Chicago must act now if it hopes to have the option of selecting who, among their deep talent pool, they wish to target as “core” players.

But this isn’t easy in a salary cap world, and becomes all the more complicated when also trying to make a run at a Stanley Cup.

How do you balance the here and now, with the then and there?

With great trepidation.

All reports indicate Toews, Kane and Keith are being identified as the “core”, along with Hossa.

With the rumours swirling that Kane and Toews will command in excess of 12M, and Keith surely more than 5M, even if his contract is defacto “franchised” (i.e. a for life deal like Hossa’s, whereby the final years pay a minimal salary in an effort to reduce the over-all cap hit).

This is minimum 17M in new salary.  Salary that will have to be “tagged” for future use.

Now, without getting too encumbured in the CBA salary rules, the Coles notes is that a team cannot exceed the current salary cap level in “tagged” salaries in future years.  In other words, (roughly) Chicago cannot have signed one way contract commitments, in any future year, combining to be worth more than the current salary cap limit of  56.8M.

So, the question is, how much “tagging” room does Chicago even have?

Approximately 16M (Now, this is the “functional” minimum, they have more, but going beyond 16M could hamper their ability to function this year…it’s complicated).

Now, that may be how much they can spend on future commitments, but using all of that space will leave them unable to sign any more contracts.  They’ll effectively be at the cap limit, with only 9 forwards, 5 defense, and 1 goaltender.  They can exceed the salary cap by 10% in the off season, but that is not much, especially if the cap drops.

They’ll have spent all their money, but still not have a complete team.

Also, any moves to accomodate for trades would have to be salary negative, which is a tough call, especially if a deal for veteran experience is in the cards, as is done by most contending teams at or near the deadline.

So what to do?

How do you secure the future, but not corrupt the present?

Make a deal…maybe even a bad deal.

If the ‘Hawks want to move ahead with these signings, they will have to shed salary.  They won’t shed bad deals, because no team will take one without giving one back (unless a sweetener is included).  So the Hawks will have to move a bad salary, along with a top prospect or pick, for little or nothing in return, or move a player with value, for a prospect or pick.

Few, if any teams will make such deals, and those that would, likely can’t, for salary reasons of their own.

This is where the talk of Sharp, Seabrook, Versteeg, Byfuglien and Barker has come from…necessity.  Any trade will most probably be a quality player being traded for a player with a low salary, and an expiring contract, like say a, Lee, Picard or Campoli.

Picard sure has seen a lot of ice-time lately…hmmm.

Chicago has been scouting our games lately…hmmm.

There will be a trade, and I’d expect it to come before all three signings have been announced.

Will it include Ottawa?  Who knows, but there are some reasons to think it may.  Different conferences, and Ottawa is unlikely to be seen as a team to challenge Chicago for the Cup, therefor improving their roster poses a lessor threat of the trade coming back to bite them.

Chicago has a host of desireable talent, and a desperate need to make cap space, and no doubt every GM in the NHL is smelling blood in the water…but whose gonna bite first?

It’s not as easy as sign ’em, and worry about it in the off-season, the CBA doesn’t allow that due to the “tagging rule” [50.5(e)(iv)(C) & 50.5(f)].



13 Responses to “CHI Looking To Deal?”

  1. Sharp, Seabrook OR Barker would all look pretty good in Sens’ jerseys, IMO.

    I’m comfortable giving up Picard and Campoli, but I’d like to cut Lee some slack – he’s been steadily improving since he was called up, and will look even better, once Volch comes back, and he plays his more natural 4-6 role. That way, there won’t be as much pressure on the kid to perform. Regardless… I’m just not ready to consider him a complete bust yet.

    Just please BM… for the love of God… stay away from that Campbell contract!

  2. I can’t see them giving up Seabrook during this season. This team wants a cup run, and they want it fast, and Seabrook would be huge for that. Hell, I don’t even see them giving up Seabrook after this season, but Barker is definitely a goner.

  3. Woozle man Says:

    Please god let a deal go down. Barker for Picard + draft pics OR Campoli + pic for Barker please! Hell, take ’em both for Barker and a prospect!

    As much as I love the idea of Seabrook in the lineup, I don’t picture him as one of the guys they will move. Him, Hjalmarsson, Keith and Campbell are their top four for years to come, that’s just how it’s gonna be. I can however see them moving Barker (playing 5th D minutes), and perhaps Sharp (only because they absolutely have to). Outside chance they move Versteeg, but only if things get really intractable with salaries.

  4. No doubt the two players most available are Barker and Byfuglien.
    How about Kelly, Regin, Lee and 2009 SJ 2nd for Barker an Byfuglien and 2009 CHI 3rd.
    The big advantage for CHI is that both Lee and Regin can be demoted without going through waivers and are on 2 way deals, allowing them to make another move at the deadline, but still have depth.
    Ottawa would have to move down to a 22 man roster to accomodate the new salaries.
    Kelly has value to a young team, and he is an excellent bottom six forward, with play-off experience, on a team loaded with top 6 talent.
    Just a thought.

  5. Interesting thought, GN, however, would a team looking to shed salary in the worst way take on a 2.1 mill. contract for a bottom 6 vet.? Unlikely.

  6. The salaries will not apply until next season so CHI will probably hold on to thier players until the off-season in hope they win a Stanley Cup this year.

    • CT, a salary extension counts as a “tagged” salary. In otherwords, until the off season, a team cannot exceed the following years salary cap with signed one way deals.
      This means, if they want to sign these players to extensions, and these extensions exceed @16M, they will have to clear one way contracts they have on the books for next year.
      They can’t just wait until next year, even if the deals don’t affect this years cap number.
      Derrick, agreed, but, CHI would off-load >6M in salary, but only taken 2.1 back. They wouldn’t bo moving Barker and Buff to add players, but to fix their problems with the cap. They could then trade Kelly during the summer, if they wished.
      I’ll be surprised to see CHI swing a deal better than the one exhibited, that’s the pressure they’re under.

  7. GN et al!

    Guys, with all due respect, Barker has been the one out there and available all along, Bryan didn’t jump yet because he was supposidly too rich for our blood @$3,083,333 at that time…we were waiting to let Chicago realize how deep the pile of dung was that they were in…

    1) It’s borderline if we can afford him yet because practically nothing goes back.

    2) It’s interesting for all the “Picard People” that he is the only one Chicago is interested in for the rest of the year, his potential, his worth and no contract for next year! Alex is perfect to them in so many ways!

    3) Byfulien is new…they need him and his muscle for the Cup run!

    4) This is too soon, Bryan figured he’d have more time and would pay less later on…this was supposed to happen after xmas…the Chicago guy miss fired again!

  8. Buffy The Nuetral Zone Slayer has been available for awhile now (IMO).
    No doubt with Volchy and Foligno up for renewal adding salary will be an issue, but when the music starts, ya either gotta dance, or go home alone.

  9. Thanks for the explanation GN !!I’m not aware of all this IMO If we do the trade suggested,do we gain alot of money?

  10. GN:

    I think Bryan has finally realized that with all these great young Defencemen coming, he still needs a stud puck carrier for this season and next…Kuba has let him down “Big Time” he was supposed to be the stop gap.

    I give #24 his $4.25 for five he deserves it and will go out on his “Shield” in 2011…totally broken what a warrior!

    Nicky is still our “Showpiece” from the system…we like him…he’s a keeper!

    Still can’t get over how big Winchester’s arms are…good reach also!!

  11. Pulling all the strings (So ya don't like my MOP?) Says:

    My vote is for Seabrook – he’s consistently on the + in +/-. Which is what we need – “D more than even” in even strength situations. Barkers numbers are marginally better than Picard’s but both have a love affair with the south side of 0 on +/-. Seabrook is the more dynamic D.

    Kuba and Seabrook would be a good pairing. Then you’ve got the shutdown duo, Carkner and the bubble guys (Lee/Campoli) for the rest of the year (unless Karlsson gets called up – still hasn’t got a goal yet with that laser shot)

    I can’t see two guys coming in – too much change.

  12. To PATS/MOP:

    I don’t really think Seabrooke is available and anyways he’s too expensive…Barker’s signing at that time was brilliant it preserved his value @ $3mill…He is Bryan’s primary target!

    It’s funny, all of a sudden Chicago is looking at Picard exclusively, Philly thought he was OK with his 5 assists in one game, Tampa didn’t want to give him up and our Internet Experts know better than everyone else in hockey…there is a lesson here somewhere boys!

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