The Chicago Blackhawks season is right around the corner, and the team looks a lot better than the last few seasons thanks to the busy offseason they had. Let’s break down the salary cap moves the team has had since the NHL Draft.
The Blackhawks offseason discussion has to start with adding Seth Jones.
Chicago traded for Seth Jones on the day of the NHL draft, giving up Adam Boqvist and some draft picks for Jones, cap-wise the move added 5.4 million, but they then signed him to an eight-year 9.5 million dollar extension keeping him in Chicago for a long time.
The team also traded Duncan Keith this offseason clearing up his over five million dollar deal that was going to keep him in Chicago until 2023. That trade obviously is tough to look at as Keith is a fan favorite who wanted to be closer to his son, but still sad to see him go. That trade really opened up the money to add Jones this offseason.
Chicago also traded away the Brent Seabrook contract that was going to sit on IR for the next few years. In place, they added Tyler Johnson, a cap casualty victim from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Johnson is a great addition who might be paid a bit high at five million, but on this team, he can be effective for the foreseeable future.
The team also re-signed Brandon Hagel to a three-year 1.5 million dollar contract. That is a great depth addition that honestly gives Hagel a great deal at 1.5 while also making sure he is here for the next three years at least.
The team also added Jake McCabe for four years at four million dollars. Would be cool if he wore number four as well but that number was taken by Seth Jones. Otherwise, we could be talking about number four being signed for four at four a year. I digress. McCabe is a great addition to the defense and really adds to the depth the team is adding on the backend.
Connor Murphy also signed a four-year extension kicking in next season for 4.4 million. That is not impacting this salary cap season, but seeing the numbers different defensemen have been going for, it is great to get Murphy locked in now.
The last addition I am mentioning is Marc-Andre Fleury. Chicago traded basically nothing for Fleury relieving the Vegas Golden Knights of his 7 million dollar cap hit.
So in all Chicago added Seth Jones, Tyler Johnson, Jake McCabe, Marc-Andre Fleury, and a nice Hagel extension. Those five players add up to 22.9 million for next season. Overall the team has absolutely no cap room according to CapFriendly, in fact, the team will probably have to make another deal to work out the cap or work the cap a little bit by placing a player like Brett Connolly in the AHL.
Chicago also is now projected 22 million in cap space for the 2022 offseason. It is amazing to think how many different players the team will have to re-sign with that money, from some key rookies to goalies there are a lot of questions on the future of the team.
Chicago added a lot of money this offseason, and hopefully the result on the ice will be a more competitive team ready to push for the playoffs.