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
P.K. Subban #76, New Jersey Devils (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

PK Subban

Subban would potentially be an expensive option considering his current deal has him at 9,000,000/year, but he could be the legit #1 defenseman that Chicago doesn’t currently have. Also, the 31-year-old Subban likely isn’t in New Jersey’s long-term plans. A deal like this is pretty unlikely. Money is a major obstacle, but it could happen.

The Devils are undergoing a sort of rebuild, and Subban’s numbers weren’t great last year, although, to be honest, neither were New Jersey’s.  Like any other rebuilding team, New Jersey would probably like to shed his salary and put it towards another player like Torey Krug, as well as making sure players like Jack Hughes can get paid in a couple of years.

Unless Chicago struck a deal that something like included Maatta going to New Jersey, Bowman would likely need to clear a fair amount of cap space for this to work. Then again, if the Devils want Subban gone, then maybe they could be talked into eating part of his cap hit. He’s a UFA after the 2021-2022 season, and the Devils wouldn’t be on the hook for very long if they did agree to retain some of his salaries to make it work.

However, if the deal happened Subban were to end up not panning out for Chicago, the fact that he doesn’t come with a clause restricting movement means the team could expose him at the expansion draft, and his cap hit could simply vanish. Worst case scenario, he hangs around another year until his deal expires. New Jersey is very possibly thinking along these lines, and they don’t have to move him. Making this deal work might require more than Chicago is willing to part with.