Just a few days before the Chicago Blackhawks draft Connor Bedard, their biggest pick since Patrick Kane, the Chicago Blackhawks have begun spending some of that necessary extra cap space. This move is clearly a cap dump from Boston's perspective and a move to increase the payroll in the short term for Chicago.
The deal includes two players from each team. The Chicago Blackhawks are sending Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula to Boston for Taylor Hall and the rights to UFA Nick Faligno. Hall has two years remaining at $6 million per year. The Bruins will retain no amount of that contract allowing them to clear space and the Hawks to pad their books. Faligno had a cap hit of $3.8 million last season. At 35, it is unlikely, he would demand more than that. Should he want to play for the Blackhawks, he would get in the $3 million range which, again, would help Chicago get to the cap minimum they must reach this year.
This deal is brilliant for Chicago for a number of reasons. First, losing Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula won't impede future success. Mitchell has underperformed and was likely on his way out, or on a permanent visit to Rockford. Regula showed signs of being better than Mitchell, but was in no way factoring into future plans. The loss to Chicago was minimal and an excellent move by GM Kyle Davidson.
Second, Hall and potentially Faligno answer to questions for the Hawks. How will they reach the cap minimum without wrecking the future? Easy, sign two vets to short term deals Who will play alongside and guide the young superstar, Bedard? Placing Bedard on a line with Hall, and possible Reichel is a total win for all players. This will be exactly what a young player needs, guidance from a solid vet.
Well played Chicago, well played.