One fact is certain, the Blackhawks have salary cap issues, impacted most notably by the new Kanes and Toews contracts which escalate this year to $10.5 million each. The Blackhawks have approximately $5 million in cap space to sign Vermette, Richards, Saad, Desjardins, Nordstrom and Carcillo on the offensive side, and Oduya, Rozsival and Runblad on the defensive side. Obviously cuts will be required.
Patrick Sharp is scheduled to make $5.9 million for the next two seasons. Of course, another option would include cutting loose secondary position players, but the Blackhawks are pleased with the play of most of those players. All early indications point to Sharp as the man of the blocks.
Patrick Sharp, who will turn 34 this December, had a productive season in 2014-2015, with 16 goals and 27 assists in 68 games, on a team that has plenty of scoring potential. The question remains, how many good years does he have left? Possibly 2? If the Caps feel they are in the window to make the final push and run for the cup, this may be all they need.
So what will it cost the Caps? Rumors last week had Chicago looking for quite a bit in return? Well, according to league sources, Chicago’s current asking price is a first round pick, A-level prospect and a top-level forward on an entry-level contract. The following Tweet was sent out by Islanders writer B.D. Gallof:
This would equate to the Caps giving up their first round pick, presumably Andre Burakovsky and someone like Madison Bowey. Yikes! (not gonna happen). Sure, this is just a starting point for negotiations, but the demands are so high, one wonders how much it will ultimately drop, and will there ever be a reasonable demand from the Blackhawks, one the Capitals can feel comfortable with. It’s hard to see the Blackhawks give up on the first round draft pick, as some team will likely give that up.
Caps Salary Cap Position
Caps are also up against the projected salary cap ceiling of $71.5 million. It’s presumed that several regulars will not make it through the summer with the team, most notably Mike Green. Others on the hot seat include Joel Ward, Jay Beagle, and Eric Fehr. GM Brian MacLellan has gone on record to state that the signing priorities for this off season include Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Marcus Johansson and Nate Schmidt. After that they would see what money is left to sign a top six Right Winger. A quick and dirty estimate figures that the Caps will have $4-5 million in the bank after key signings, not enough to sign Sharp.
Caps Draft Picks
The Caps are limited in draft picks this year, after giving up a 2nd, 3rd and 4th round pick to rent Curtis Glencross and Tim Gleason. The Caps current draft picks for this years NHL entry draft are as follows:
At this point it’s hard to see how this deal will get done, without significant concessions by the Blackhawks. In the Caps corner, the league knows the Blackhawks backs are up against the wall due to their salary demands. The Blackhawks will lessen their demands as the days go by, but the question remains, will another team jump in at a point before the Caps are comfortable with a deal.