Chicago IS Going To Deal…

It has been confirmed, as I wrote about earlier, that CHI is being held in check by the CBA tagging rule.

Now, this is getting a lot of ink lately, but few have truly examined the complexities of this issue, and trust me, it is very complex.  Making this amount of signings, on a team already facing cap issues is extremely difficult, and there is no way this can be done without a move being made, absolutely no way, despite what some seem to claim.  CHI is pushing the extremes of the salary cap to make these moves, and people (NHL, NHLPA,  and other teams) are watching, very closely.

It’s not just next years cap that has to be considered, and this is a point many people just don’t seem to understand.  If this is done poorly, CHI could be crippled not just next year, but this year too.

A key aspect of this tagging rule is that, even if they clear up enough space to make the signings, they must make sure they leave enough room to account for injuries.

With the “tagging” rule you actually use up your current year cap space when “tagging” salaries, therefore, if you just get under the salary cap for next year, you’ve used up the remainder of your current year cap space.  I know, it’s very complicated.

And this is no small factor.

This effectively means, not only does CHI have to get under the cap next year, but they have to get under it by enough to leave themselves sufficient current year cap space to manage potential injuries.  You see, when you call up players, to cover non IR or LTIR injuries, these salaries go against the cap space for the duration of their playing time.  So, if you have no cap space, and a player goes down to injury, you cannot call up a player to replace them unless the injured player qualifies for IR or LTIR.

In order to qualify for IR, the player must be deemed to be sufficiently injured to render them unable to play for a minimum of 7 days from the date of the injury.  As soon as you place that player on IR, they are immediately ineligible to play for those 7 days.  This is why teams avoid using IR unless they know that player is in fact injured enough to definitely be out 7 days (also, this can be challenged by the NHL is they think the player isn’t that badly injured).  Why risk losing them longer than needed, right?  IR can be claimed retroactively, if the injury proves to be bad enough that they actually missed 7 days.

Then there’s the wild card.  After a certain date (sorry, can’t remember for sure), you cannot use IR to replace salaries, you must use cap space.  This is what happened to CGY last season, when they played with only 18 skaters.  They did not have the cap space to replace injured players.  A team must dress 18 skaters, who fit within the salary cap restrictions, or forfeit the game.  No doubt CGY was playing bodies that would otherwise have been sitting out.  Is it really worth the risk to suffer a key injury in an effort to avoid forfeiting a game?

This is the hard reality CHI is facing when trying to extend Toews, Kane and Keith.

It is possible, at this moment, for CHI to announce these deals, and not be over the cap, but it would preclude being able to return Hossa to the line-up when he comes off of LTIR.  This leaves me to believe CHI is either shopping Hossa (which I doubt, but you never know), or sufficient salary to accomodate for his return, @ 6M.

That’s a hell of a lot of salary, and one would have to think moving this amount of money, in season, is not going to happen without being on the losing side of the deal.  I would think the mentality around the CHI boardroom table is “we’re trading 6M in contracts for Toews, Kane and Keith, they’re the return, not what they get out of the trade itself”, therefore a bag of pucks in return is a bonus, any salary is a negative.

Don’t be surprised to see TOR going heavy in this, as they have a large number of expiring contracts, and these contracts would not count against next years cap.  unfortunately they have no picks of note to trade as compensation to sweeten the deal.

Something like Stempniak for Versteeg is possible, but TOR would have to throw in a good pick, or prosect, of which they have neither (except Kahdri or Schenn).

Would Burke move Schenn?  That would be monumental, and further prove how much that team is in disarray, and just grasping at straws.



11 Responses to “Chicago IS Going To Deal…”

  1. they don’t have to necessarily deal with the sens . do they ?

  2. Absolutely not.
    It basicaly comes down to 2 factors;
    1. Who can afford to absorb big contracts
    2. Who comes up with the best offer.
    I would contend, with Ottawa in a mini rebuild, they have an interest in adding to their roster, and they have some cap space to play with, if they can off load a salary or two.
    But to consider OTT and CHI as obvious trade partners is going way too far.

  3. I am not sure how to think about this. You have a window of two years (this being one) where you have both Kovy and Alfie. So if a good defenceman can make a difference then go for it. Otherwise, you have two high calibre prospects in the wings. I think one of Campoli, Lee Picard is top 4 material.

    • Not only that Sam, but these contracts coming in (if a deal were to be consumated) have term, meaning less money available to re-sign Volchy. I’d sooner have Volchy than Barker.
      This is why CHI making a deal will be so difficult, every team has cap issues, either now, or going into next season, and taking on a contract, with term, and not shipping money out in return is near impossible.


  4. Here is one for ya…

    Hossa’s deal is still under review and Bowman takes this opputunity to void the deal get himself out of trouble and his Black Hawks off the hook!

    Hossa goes to San Jose after Heatley is shot (misteriously) by a bar owner and the Sharks win the Stanley Cup! Heatley doesn’t get a ring!

    It’s interesting how all of a sudden the Hockey World grades out Barker only slightly ahead of Alexandre @ almost 4 times the price!!!

    • I’ll say this Nik, if Picard keeps playing like he has lately, I’ll be more than happy to keep him over Barker.

  5. It is starting to look the meszaros trade is close to highway roberry almost.

  6. Wow you really looked into this GN.In your personnal opinion,do you think Ottawa will a swing a deal with them?

    • All I can say is that Barker has been on the radar for a couple of years now. That being said, if it ultimately costs the Sens the ability to sign Volchy, then no.

  7. Well we can afford barker if we get rid of Kelly or Cheechoo ..I would prefer having him than Campoli ..his better defensively and he would play well with Kuba

  8. I think the team that deals with CHI has a good chance of being near the bottom of the standings AND still has it’s draft picks. I think this would rule out the Leafs, but who knows. If I was in Bowman’s shoes, I’d look at some team near the bottom that thinks it has a chance to make a run this year (or is feeling pressure to do so.) If I thought they’d likely still finish near the bottom and were willing to part with their first round pick…that would be what I found the most enticing.

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