Blackhawks: A Flat Cap Means Salary Cap Changes, But Who?

Patrick Kane #88, Brent Seabrook #7, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Patrick Kane #88, Brent Seabrook #7, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks
Cody Ceci #83, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Cody Ceci

Despite the highest of hopes for the Toronto Maple Leafs, their season ended with a “thud”. Now that the dust has begun to settle, it will time for Kyle Dubas to make decisions for his roster. One player that suited up for Toronto, and will probably not factor into Dubas’ plans this year is Cody Ceci. He’s now UFA and expected to walk in free agency. (see SportsNet article.)

At 26-years-old the sizable defenseman (6’ 2” and 210 lbs) could be a great fit for Chicago. In Ceci’s case, Bowman wouldn’t have to do much beyond reaching a deal on the contract. Likely, even that wouldn’t be an issue. Ceci made $4,500,000 last year, and his numbers were only OK, not great. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think signs for a comparable amount somewhere else.

This would be so easy for Chicago, no trades, nothing. Ceci also represents a bigger body on the back-end, something that the team lacks at the moment.

The most significant problem with bringing in a free agent like Ceci is that the defense is already crowded. Some kind of trade or buyout likely happens, but until it does there’s not any room to bring in yet another defenseman. It would look especially bad to Chicago’s growing list of defensive prospects that will be crowding the Rockford lineup to start the season. Bringing in Ceci could happen, but only if there’s a corresponding move to free up space.

Then there’s also the consideration that, if he makes the same amount as Olli Maatta, what are you gaining? If he isn’t moved, and Maatta comes out playing as he did in the playoffs, then keeping him is fine. The keyword here is “if” in the equation. If Maatta is moved, then Ceci has to be an improvement, or acquiring the former Leaf will have been a bit pointless.