According to the likes of ESPN and TSN, the Chicago Blackhawks are nearing extensions with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith but today on ESPN I read something that I couldn't believe.
Since I am an ESPN Insider I am able to browse all the ESPN rumors and Insider articles, but in the rumor section this morning I read that Blackhawks should consider moving Marian Hossa.
Here is a section from that article:
"The salary cap is at $56.8 million this season but it's projected to dip a little next season. So even with just 15 players, the Hawks will be over the salary cap. That means they'll likely try to part ways with their biggest earners—Hossa, Campbell and Huet, as well as some of their role players. How will they do it? Like we said earlier, Bowman has quite the task ahead of him."
Now I agree the Blackhawks need to move a big salary and two likely candidates would be Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet but I have never heard Hossa's name brought up among those who should be shopped.
In the article, the ESPN Insider says that Hossa's contract is worth $7.9 million per season which is somewhat correct but due to the length of his contract and it being front loaded, Hossa's cap hit (which is the number everyone should care about) is only $5.233 million.
Hossa hasn't even played a single game with the Blackhawks and has a lower cap hit than both Campbell and Huet?
That really doesn't make sense to me but I guess he would be an easier asset to move than Campbell or Huet.
Really Hossa, when healthy, is a 70-80 point player and 40-goal scorer and at $5.233 million, he is a bargain.
We need to see what Hossa can do on the ice this season and see if he is the same player he was before surgery (which I bet he is) and make a determination from there on if he is a trade-able asset.
There have to be other avenues explored to relieve the cap crunch than trading away Marian Hossa.
Even possibly taking Tab Bamford's advice of buyout Brian Campbell's contract, although I think it is a little far-fetched and could lead to trouble down the road, I think I would rather see that happen than Hossa be traded.
To me, by signing that 12-year deal with the Blackhawks, Hossa has become a part of the Chicago Blackhawks core along with Keith, Kane, Toews, and Brent Seabrook and I don't see him going anywhere.