The Chicago Blackhawks will look to bolster their roster this offseason. But with salary cap constraints that task looks to be difficult for General Manager Stan Bowman.
With very little cap space to re-sign players and sign possible free agents, the idea of trading away some of their core players becomes all the more real. Bowman will have to decide which players will lead the Blackhawks down the road, and who could be traded in order to open up more cap space and provide more depth for their roster.
These are the top five core Blackhawks that could be considered in trade negotiations this offseason.
Patrick Kane could be traded to add some needed depth to the Blackhawks roster.
At 22 years of age and one of the faces of the Blackhawks’ franchise, right winger Patrick Kane is unlikely to be traded this offseason.
Kane had 73 points in 73 games this past season, making him a point-per-game player. According to salarycapgeek.com, his cap hit is $6.3 million, which is on the higher end of the Blackhawks roster.
Many can't fathom the idea that a face of the franchise could be dealt, as Kane is expected only to improve his game, a trade should be considered. It could improve the Blackhawks' salary cap situation and provide the third and fourth lines with a few role players that were lost from their championship roster from 2010.
Defenseman Brian Campbell
A trade involving defenseman Brian Campbell would be difficult but not impossible. With a $7.1 million cap hit and five more years left on his contract, many teams will look the other way as they have no cap space for the speedy offensive defenseman.
Still it is a trade that could happen because many teams are in need of a fast defenseman who can bring the puck up ice. The Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche, and Toronto Maple Leafs all need depth on the back end and have the room to manage Campbell’s salary.
This type of trade would also instantly solve the Blackhawks’ salary cap problem, as it would clear up enough space to bring in much needed depth.
Center Dave Bolland has to be a valuable shutdown center for the Chicago Blackhawks.
With his playoff experience and potential to grow as a player, Bolland is a valuable asset to the Blackhawks roster and would be a highly sought-after player in trade negotiations.
But with a $3.4 million cap hit and three more years left on his contract, the Blackhawks can obtain the services of another shutdown center with a lower salary.
The Blackhawks’ leading goal scorer last season will be figured into some trade talks over the offseason.
Leading the Blackhawks with 34 goals and 37 assists, right winger Patrick Sharp is considered a valuable member to this team. But with a $3.9 million cap hit, the idea of trading Sharp becomes all the more prevalent.
Having a year that would make Sharp one of the elite players in the NHL, a pay raise is expected. Therefore, it might be best to trade Sharp for some depth players now to save some salary cap space for the future.
Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson is the core player who is highest on the trade list for this offseason.
With a $3.5 million cap hit and a dip in his offensive production, many argue that Hjalmarsson is overpriced. His three goals and seven assists last season demonstrate that he might be developing into a gritty shot blocker rather than an offensive talent on the back end.
The Blackhawks should look to trade Hjalmarsson and pick up another defenseman who can block shots for more cap room and more role players on the third and fourth lines.