Blackhawks Will Match Offer Sheet for Niklas Hjalmarsson
It was a fair assumption, since Chicago has almost no wiggle room under the $59.4 million ceiling. In the end, however, the 'Hawks are going to find a way to make it work as they will be matching the four-year, $14 million offer sheet. Add that $3.5 million cap hit to Chicago's roster, and it currently has $59,351,590 committed to just 15 players for next season, according to CapGeek. That leaves just $113,000 to fill out the remainder of the roster, and that, my friends, is impossible.
Obviously, more trades and rosters moves are coming Chicago's way.
Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet continue to be the biggest burdens, combining to take up over $12 million in cap space. In Campbell's case, as we've pointed out before, it's not that he's a bad player, it's just that his contract is simply awful, carrying the 13th largest cap hit in the league and running through the 2015-16 season. How many teams can even afford to take on that much of a cap hit, let alone actually want to take it?
Patrick Sharp, signed for the next two years at $3.9 million per season, could easily be moved, but he's also one of the Blackhawks most productive players, coming off a 25-goal, 41-assist regular season, that was followed by playoff run that saw him average a point-per-game (22 points, 22 games).
The other key player that Chicago still has to come to terms with is goaltender Antti Niemi. According to general manager Stan Bowman, via the team's official Twitter page, it sounds as if he intends to keep both players -- Hjalmarsson and Niemi -- saying that it won't an either/or situation, and that negotiations with Niemi will continue.