While the eye of the storm seemingly has come on the eve of draft day, Hawks fans hold their breath for what may be in store for tomorrow.
While the Hawks have managed to clear over $4 million from the salary cap over the past 24 plus hours, this will not be enough.
While room has been created, not enough space is there for the combined salaries of incoming players or offer sheets for restricted free agents.
The restricted free agents, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Antti Niemi, have yet to become subjects of any trade talks and for the right reasons. The Blackhawk front office seems to be doing everything in their power to allow space for potential accepting offers.
With the draft arriving tomorrow evening the Blackhawks have 5 (24, 30, 43, 54, 60) of the top 60 selections. With picks and trade bait in toe, the Hawks will be making more moves.
Unfortunately, with many wanting to go down the path of sending Huet to Rockford, the waiver period doesn’t begin until two weeks prior to the season.
The only option to clear space immediately would be to buy-out the remainder of his contract or make a trade. Many don’t see Huet being moved elsewhere due to a bloated salary and the mere fact he lost the job at the close of the season.
If Huet doesn’t get bought out the Hawks will have to make additional space beyond the 10% salary cap overage allowed during the off-season.
So who will get traded if Huet stays?
Assumptions would include Kris Versteeg ($3.066 mil.), Andrew Ladd ($1.550 mil.), or Kyle Beach.
Kris Versteeg brings a unique dimension to the Hawks line-up and for that same reason he will demand more than they can afford. While clearing more space, it will create for additional opportunities for players such as Jack Skille and Bryan Bickell.
Andrew Ladd, as many may know now, is a 24-year-old winger that already has two Stanley Cups in his resume.
While bringing a dependable presence every shift, teams will find much value in a future third-liner.
My final pick to see leave may be Kyle Beach.
Although a personal favorite, recent comments from GM Stan Bowman have many believing that Beach may never see a Blackhawks’ sweater.
With the circumstances, Beach may serve as better trade bait in a season where some would think the Hawks failed to make the playoffs.
A championship team becomes a dynasty through successful off-seasons. While fans fall in love with players they must live to respect the decisions of upper management.
The Stanley Cup banner will be lifted on October 9th versus Detroit, unfortunately ‘Steeg won’t be there to enjoy the moment.