May 18, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defensemanJohnny Oduya
(27) during the third period in game one of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Chicago Blackhawks defeats the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
With training camp less than a month away and the regular season forty-six days away, the Blackhawks are facing a problem that no team enjoys facing, getting under the salary cap. The Blackhawks are a reported 2.2 million over the allotted cap if prospect Teuvo Teravainen makes the team and 1.3 million over the cap if he starts the season in the AHL. The Blackhawks have to be under the salary cap by October 1st, so let’s take a look at some of the possible trade candidates.
Johnny Oduya: He has one year remaining on his deal with a cap hit of 3.375 million. Oduya seems to be the player who will most likely be moved in order to get under the cap. He is reliable defensively, but doesn’t have much of an offensive upside. Defensive prospects such as David Rundblad, Adam Clendening, or Klas Dahlbeck could step into Oduya’s role and be just as effective.
Nick Leddy: Yet another defenseman who could be on the move to provide some cap relief. Leddy also has one year left on his deal and a cap hit of 2.7 million. Unlike Oduya, Leddy will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Leddy is only 23 with a tremendous upside, not to mention unparalleled speed. Although he would fetch more of a return in a trade, I think trading Leddy at this point would be a mistake.
Patrick Sharp: Just had to mention him. I believe Sharp isn’t going anywhere. First off because replacing 34 goals and 44 assists is not an easy task. Secondly, Sharp has a full no trade clause, which means he would have to approve any trade involving him. With a 5.9 million cap hit for the next three years a trade involving Sharp seems likely, just not this year.
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Bryan Bickell: After lighting up the 2013 playoffs Bryan Bickell cashed in signing a 4 year, 16 million dollar deal. After a disappointing regular season, Bickell came alive in the playoffs and showed he was worth the big contract. If the hawks traded Bickell, they’d miss his big body presence and his uncanny playoff performances, but if the hawks could find a taker it might not be a bad idea to get out from underneath his contract.
Honorable Mentions: You’d love to see a guy like Kris Versteeg or Michal Rozsival shipped out to get under the cap, but there aren’t too many teams out there looking for guys like these. Both were coming off of sub par seasons and are hoping for a bounce back year this season.
As October first draws nearer look for one of these guys to be traded to get under the cap. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment your thoughts.