The Chicago Blackhawks were in a difficult situation when it came to free agency. They did not have any cap space available. Heading into today they were over the salary cap by nearly 2.5 million dollars.
Today Stan Bowman went bargain shopping. While everyone was shopping at Macy’s, Bowman was at Walmart trying to get the best bang for his buck. He went for quantity over quality today. Bowman signed Patrick Sharp for $800,000, Tommy Wingels to a 1- year deal, Jordan Osterle to a 2-year deal, Lance Bouma, and Jean-Francois Berube. He added five players to the organization but not much in the way of quality.
I am sorry to everyone who loves Sharp. I really want Sharp to play well with the team this season, but I would not call him quality right now. If he proves to be healthy and score like he has in years past, I would call him quality.
Bowman was going for forward depth. He definitively got depth. He got bottom six depth.
Bouma, Wingels, and Sharp figure to be bottom six forwards, Sharp having the most upside because of his goal scoring potential. Wingels is an evergy guy who is physical and Bouma plays on the Penalty Kill, although people say he is HORRIBLE on the PK.
Osterle and Francois Berube figures to start the season in Rockford. Bowman once again will be counting on the production of Patrick Kane and company to carry the offensive load.
Bowman Didn’t Address The Defense.
With the Blackhawks having holes on their blue line, I assumed they would be in the market for any of the free agent defensemen. However, the prices for the limited supply of defense were astronomical. So Bowman added to his forward depth and goalie depth.
Now the Hawks still have to trade Marcus Kruger to get under the salary cap. I am hoping that the Bowman gets one of surplus Vegas defensemen for Kruger.
Salary Cap Limitations
The Hawks did what they could within their financial constraints. After signing Sharp to an NHL contract, they still have to make a trade to get under the salary cap.
Despite the free agent spending spree by everyone in the NHL, the Blackhawks are still not done. There is now still the pesky task of getting under the salary cap.