Another year has passed but some things haven’t changed. After losing in the first round to the Canucks, the Blackhawks have set their sights on the future. They will once again have many new faces on the roster next season. With the NHL’s salary cap remaining stringent, the Blackhawk’s were forced again to trade away some familiar faces. In two separate deals the Blackhawks parted ways with forward Troy Brouwer and defenseman Brian Campbell. Brouwer, who made just over $1 million last year, was due a significant raise which the Blackhawks did not have the luxury to pay. Instead the Blackhawks traded him to Washington for a first round pick in this year’s draft. While the Brouwer deal was imminent, the Campbell deal is somewhat surprising. After finally coming close to expectations last year by posting plus 28 in the plus/minus category, the Blackhawks dealt Campbell. While these numbers were strong, Campbell’s contract outweighed his production. At $7.14 million, Campbell was the highest paid Blackhawk. Unloading his contract was almost a necessity for the Blackhawks in order for them to resign free agents like Viktor Stallberg, Michael Frolik, and Chris Campoli. In return the Blackhawks received winger Rostislav Olesz. Olesz had six goals in 44 games last year for the Panthers. Fans should not expect much from Olesz. This deal was designed to cut salary not obtain talent. With these moves, the Blackhawks now have the money available to keep Patrick Sharp in town. This is vital for the Blackhawks as Sharp has developed into one of the teams most consistent scorers. The future will be interesting for the Blackhawks. Stan Bowman now has money to spend which should make for an eventful off-season for the Blackhawks.
Leave a Reply