Could the Chicago Blackhawks do the unthinkable with their cap space?
As the trade deadline draws near, there are a lot of ways things could work out for the Chicago Blackhawks, but with each loss, it’s more and more likely that General Manager Stan Bowman will be a seller.
I’m not the first to suggest the Chicago Blackhawks could use the cap space it currently has to take on a bad contract – one that might come with a sweetener or two. This sort of thing might be unsavory, but not as unsavory as one possible contract they could take on, David Backes.
Yes, that David Backes.
The one under contract with the Boston Bruins, formerly of the St. Louis Blues.
He cleared waivers to be sent down to the AHL. He’s now simply waiting for something to happen, a buyout, a trade, and perhaps a deal with Chicago could be just the thing.
I know, I know, on some level, it’s kind of nice to see Boston squirm a bit under the pressure of Backes’s contract. At the same time, the Bruins would love the cap space dealing him would give them.
Enter the Chicago Blackhawks who could comfortably deal veteran forward Zack Smith to a contender like Boston in return for Backes, plus a little extra.
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This deal works because thirty-one-year-old Smith probably isn’t in Chicago’s long-term plans, and he’d get a shot at the cup with a real contender.
It would free up some cap space for Chicago, and clear a path for someone else to step into a bottom-6 role. With Chicago all but assured to miss the playoffs again, it’s probably best to start planning for next year.
Now, you might be thinking, “no, this doesn’t make sense. I just checked CapFriendly and Smith’s contract is smaller than Backes’s. The money doesn’t work.”
NBC, along with other organizations have explained that Backes is assigned to the AHL already, so he won’t have to clear waivers again, and that effectively buries a chunk of his contract. Also, Chicago could try to deal him, or put him on waivers to terminate his contract if he won’t accept being sent down to Rockford-like how he asked to not have to show up to the Bruins’ AHL affiliate. This is all if the deal was done.
Ask yourself, even if it makes sense and the Blackhawks would really, truly make this kind of deal, could this happen?
It’s David Backes. The Blackhawks should make a move like this, but it’s Backes.
Imagine him suiting up alongside Toews or Kane or Keith or Seabrook-who was suspended for checking the former Blues captain with a brutal hit.
Just the idea of Backes playing for the Blackhawks leaves a bad taste in your mouth, like milk soured with a shot of Malort. The very idea is virtually unimaginable. Then again, desperate times call for desperate measures. What do you think?