The Chicago Blackhawks have to come up with a salary-cap game plan. They need both a short-term plan and a long-term plan.
The Blackhawks are a bit more than $2.2 million over the $69 million salary cap the NHL has imposed for the 2014-15 season. There is no wiggle room in the NHL. The Blackhawks must pare their $71.216 million payroll by the time the team opens the season in October.
The Blackhawks are spending more on their payroll than any team in the league other than the Philadelphia Flyers (as of Aug. 16). General manager Stan Bowman has to execute an action plan to get the Blackhawks below the $69 million mark by the Oct. 9 opener at Dallas.
Bowman will have even more to worry about prior to the 2015-16 season. The Blackhawks signed superstars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to long-term contracts this summer that will pay each player $10.5 million per season.
The Blackhawks are currently committed to a salary-cap payroll of $65.8 million in 2015-16, and while the salary cap figures to go up, the Blackhawks will have eight free agents (restricted and unrestricted) that they will have to re-sign, trade or walk away from.
In this piece, we will look at Bowman's options to get the Blackhawks under the cap for the 2014-15 season.
(All salary cap and contract information courtesy of CapGeek.com.)