It’s Friday. The Blackhawks dropped a place in the standings and fell to 7 points back. The Hawks have also played at least two more games than the teams they’re chasing. I really like the way the team is playing for the past 6 weeks but if we are in the trust tree…they’re not a playoff team. It’ll take a miracle. Having said that, there’s room for hope. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. I am an optimistic guy by nature, in case you haven’t noticed. I believe this thing can be turned around and turned around fast. Like…being a contender in 2019-20…fast. And because it’s Friday and I don’t want to bum everyone out before a cold, miserable, Bears-less, snowy January weekend I am going to give the people hope. A fantasy. A team that can win…next year.
2019-20 Salary Cap: $83.5M
Hey now, that’s a nice increase from the current $79.5M and the Hawks already have money to spend.
Shedding Additional Cap Hits
1) Corey Crawford. Yesterday I blogged about trading Corey Crawford. One way or another I think Crawford has played his last game with the Blackhawks. They can explore the trade or perhaps he is just totally done and they can put him on LTIR. Either way that’s another $6M
2) Artem Anisimov. I was told that the Blackhawks got very close to trading Anisimov last summer, but the deal fell apart for whatever reason. Anisimov has had a bit of a resurgence lately playing with Kane and Strome. I wouldn’t be surprised if Arty got dealt at the deadline or the draft. The Blackhawks simply don’t need him and if he’s a bottom 6 center the Blackhawks shouldn’t pay $4.55M for a guy in that role.
3) Expiring contracts: Kruger, Kunitz, Cam Ward, and Rutta…thank you for your service. Best of luck in your future endeavors but you’re fucking out. (Krugs, I love you. I’m sorry)
Subtract those 6 guys and you’re looking a BIG amount of cap space. How big? Like enough to sign two premier guys. This is why blood should start flowing down to your nether regions. Get tingly.
Blackhawks Re-Signing RFAs
Collin Delia: 2-year deal at $1.4M per season. He’s your 1A goalie so you gotta sign him if you’re saying good bye to Crow, obviously.
Brandon Perlini: He can play for this team next year. He’s shown enough to get $1.2M from me.
Carl Dahlstrom: I like you, boo. You get a million bucks too
Dylan Sikura: Here’s a million bucks for you as well.
David Kampf: I’m over Kampf as a top 9 player, but I love him as a 4C. He gets a pay bump as well.
As a part of this I’ve also decided to trade Drake Caggiula and Gustav Forsling’s RFA rights. Forsling has been very meh this year and while he’s a nice player you gotta hope that Boqvist, Mitchell, Beaudin, and who knows maybe even a guy like Chad Krys can provide replacement level depth at defense. I chose Dahlstrom over Forsling, basically.
Free Agent Signings
The Hawks are can get Kane’s soulmate back
And the closest guy to Marian Hossa currently in the NHL…Mark Stone. They can get both. It’s actually possible.
Me when the Hawks sign Mark Stone
On defense…I would do nothing. Roll with the young guys, and the current group and try to make it work.
I’m also signing Scott Darling to 1 year and 1 million dollars
Your 2019-20 Chicago Blackhawks
That’s a full 23 man roster(with Darling assumed) and the Blackhawks still have over $5M in cap space to play with. That’s a SQUAD. Look at that lineup and try not to get hard. Try not to have visions of a 4th Cup. It’s impossible. If you believe in the young defense(I REALLY believe in Mitchell and Jokiharju). How the pairs shake out I don’t know, but there’s a lot of talent there and young defense making an impact isn’t unheard of anymore. You also have to believe in a tandem of Delia with Darling. I also believe in them. Get Darling back in Chicago with Waite as his goalie coach and not on the worst franchise in hockey and I know he will bounce back after he gets bought out.
Close your eyes, dream, will it into existence because it is absolutely possible to have this roster AND still have enough to pay Debrincat and Strome the following year. I didn’t even go crazy and add a top draft pick. This team has a chance. Have a great weekend