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Five Questions Facing The Blackhawks With Training Camp Approaching

By Skylar Peters
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Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman announces Nick Schmaltz (not pictured) as the number twenty overall pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

#1: How Will The Salary Cap Conundrum Be Solved?

The NHL’s salary cap is expected to be on the rise in the coming years, but it can’t happen fast enough for the Blackhawks. Having one of the NHL’s top rosters comes at a price, and the Blackhawks are currently paying too much. Someone has to go, and now, over two months into the off-season, that decision has yet to be made. The Blackhawks do have quite a few safe bets, but that list has certainly shrunk over the past 12 months, as more and more names have popped up in trade rumors. The Blackhawks could either ship off a forward or defenseman to make some salary cap room, although the latter seems more likely. Between Klas Dahlbeck, Stephen Johns, and Adam Clendening, the Blackhawks are loaded with hungry blue-line prospects ready to take their shot at the NHL club. It could be Johnny Oduya and his $3.375 million cap hit hits the road, or Michal Roszival’s $2.2 million dollar contract. It is nearly the same story up-front, with the Blackhawks’ five most recent first-round draft picks (Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Hartman,Teuvo Teravainen, Philip Danault, and Mark McNeill) still playing at the AHL or junior level. With a heap of big-money salaries locked in the top-six, Patrick Sharp’s name has surfaced as one forward the Blackhawks are rumored to be shopping. No matter who leaves the Blackhawks, the return will likely be in the form of prospects and draft picks, as moving a roster player frees up a valuable spot for a forward prospect to make the jump to the NHL ranks. It is a risky move for Stan Bowman to make, especially if it involves moving a core player, but one the Blackhawks simply have to make before they begin their regular season.

Times may be good for the Chicago Blackhawks, but these questions still await answers as Training Camp nears closer with each passing day. The next three weeks are sure to be exciting ones in Blackhawks circles, as management and coaching clamor to find answers to these five issues.

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