Now that the off-season is upon us, Stan Bowman and the rest of Chicago Blackhawks front office staff are busy negotiating with Blackhawks players, free agents, and other teams, to get set for the next NHL season which is only 3 months away. First things first: take care of some business that has been destined to happen for a while, in buying out the contracts of veterans Steve Montador and Rostislav Olsez.
The Blackhawks, along with all other NHL teams, received two compliance buyouts when the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) was put into place in early 2013. The compliance buyouts allow each NHL club to buy out a player. This means that the player’s remaining salary will not count against the salary cap, which is decreasing from $70.3 million to $64.3 million at the start of the 2013-14 season.
Steve Montador returned to action this spring, following a concussion that put him out of commission for over a year. Montador has had a lengthy career in the NHL, playing 571 games with six different teams. He was diagnosed with depression during his long recovery from injury in 2010, and he has not played a NHL game since March 27, 2012. He is 33 years old.
Rostislav Olsez is a 27-year old winger acquired by the Blackhawks in 2011 at the NHL Entry Draft in a trade for Brian Campbell. Olsez only played in six games with the Blackhawks, before he was cleared off waivers in November 2011. He put up 132 points in his 355-game NHL career. He suffered a knee injury on April 1st 2012 and just recovered from it in spring of 2013.
Buying out Montador and Olsez has been almost set in stone for the Blackhawks organization since mid-March where Montador was cleared off waivers and assigned to the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, a move that happened to Olsez in 2011. Both have pricey salaries, most of which counts against the Blackhawks’ cap, so this is one of the easier decisions Stan Bowman will have to make in the coming weeks.
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