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Chicago Blackhawks: Exploring Kane-less Forward Lines

By Colin Likas
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Editor’s note: Before I start this post, I first have to give a shoutout to my buddy Andrew for this idea. It’s a very interesting thought and more than likely something worth considering.

No matter how you feel about the investigation surrounding Patrick Kane, there is a real chance he’s not with the Chicago Blackhawks to start the 2015-16 season. That’s not a indictment of Kane — it’s simply a consideration that he could miss time on the ice as a result of what he’s involved in. But there is so much we don’t know about the investigation, and legal processes tend to be extremely slow in the clearest of situations.

More From Blackhawk Up — Kane Taken Off NHL 16 Cover

So it’s worthwhile to consider what the Blackhawks’ forward lines might look like sans Kane in the early parts of the the upcoming season. Maybe they’ll be needed for 82 games plus the playoffs. Maybe they won’t be needed at all. But it’s an important consideration either way, with Kane arguably the best forward on this squad.

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  • Before we can address what the forward lines might look like without Kane next season, we need to recognize two things. First, if Kane winds up suspended for any time in 2015-16, what would that mean for the Blackhawks’ salary cap situation? There is very recent precedence for this, believe it or not. Los Angeles defenseman Slava Voynov wound up suspended for the entire 2014-15 season while involved in a domestic abuse case. It was determined by the league and players’ union in November 2014 that Voynov’s contract would not count against the cap, and that it would be treated like that of a player on long-term injured reserve.

    Would a possible Kane suspension be treated the same way? I have no idea (speculation is not fun in situations like this). It would make for a very interesting situation, as the cap-strapped Blackhawks would be well under the cap with $10.5 million suddenly (albeit temporarily) off the books.

    Next: Another thing to consider

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