With the shocking revelation that Marian Hossa is out for next season and probably his career, The Blackhawks now have to find a way to replace his production on and off the ice.
It was tweeted by Chris Nichols who was quoting Elliotte Friedman on the Hossa Contract.
The reason the Blackhawks would look to move the Hossa contract is because Long Term Injured Reserve rules. The Blackhawks would not get any salary cap relief for placing Hossa on LTIR until the second day of the regular season. Therefore the Hawks have to carry his cap hit until the season begins. The Blackhawks are currently $1,695,628 over the cap as it stands right now. That number includes Hossa’s contract on the books. In order to add a player to replace Hossa’s type of offensive production the Hawks are going to need his cap space.
Thus they must trade his cap hit.
Cap Hit contract have been traded before: Chris Pronger.
Chris Pronger and Marc Savard are the two most famous examples of teams trading cap hits to other teams. Pronger signed a 7 year 34 million dollar contract with the Flyers in 2010-11. His annual cap for this contract was $4,935,714. His actual salary varied from year to year bottoming out in 2016 at $575,000. Pronger has not played in the since 2011-12 due to Concussion issues.
The Arizona Coyotes acquired the Pronger’s contract and Nicklas Grossman for Sam Gagner and a Conditional draft pick in 2015. Arizona did this to reach the NHL floor by acquiring Pronger cap hit of $4,935,714 million. While Arizona picked up a big cap hit, they only had to pay out $575,000 for it. The Pronger trade helped Arizona save money and acquire cap space to reach the NHL Salary floor. For a team who does not sell out often, saving money is a big help.
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The Flyers made the deal to get much needed cap space back in 2015. Arizona has several other trades like this after Pronger, they acquired Pavel Datsyuk contract for a cap hit. They currently have Dave Bolland on their roster for that very same purpose.
The Blackhawks Will have to Pay the freight
The one issue with trading the Hossa cap hit will be the cost. In the Pronger deal. Arizona got Grossman. Vegas got several picks for taking on Clarkson’s hit. Arizona has acquired several younger players for other contracts they have acquired. So the Blackhawks might have to part with one with their prospects to move Hossa’s contract.
In my mind it is Vinnie Hinostroza that teams would be interested in taking on. However, I would not leave out Tyler Motte from the equation. Both players are young developing forwards and are on entry level contracts. They could be a nice pieces to add anyone’s roster. Arizona seems like a team that would be enticed by either Hinostroza /Motte and the Hossa Cap hit.
So it would not be unprecedented for the Blackhawks to trade Hossa’ contract. It is just going to cost them another player.