Patience: it seems to be the word of the offseason for the Blackhawks.
They still have salary to cut but, as of now, the right deal hasn't come along to get that process going. They still have a player or two they'd like to re-sign, Marcus Kruger among them. But until the Blackhawks take care of the former, they can't do much of the latter.
[MORE: Blackhawks acquire Liam Coughlin from Oilers for Anders Nilsson]
Week 2 of free agency has begun and the Blackhawks are still hovering around $72 million with players left to sign and a roster left to fill. They're also still very quiet on the trade front. Patrick Sharp, whose name has cultivated interest among other teams, remains a Blackhawk. So do others who were considered trade targets.
As far as Kruger goes, his camp and the Blackhawks are still talking about another deal. Kruger is "trying to see if a multi-year contract is possible," according to his agent, J.P. Barry. For that to be possible the Blackhawks will need to find cap space; Kruger's camp is practicing patience.
But how long can the Blackhawks practice patience? They could wait until the fall to make trades and get under the $71.4 million cap set for the 2015-16 season; they did that last season with the Nick Leddy trade. They can go over the cap 10 percent during the offseason, as long as they're below it when the regular-season begins.
[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
That means other potential deals, however, could be affected. General manager Stan Bowman said at the NHL Draft that he'd love to bring back Johnny Oduya if the Blackhawks could get their finances in order to allow it. How long Oduya wants to wait, however, is uncertain. Oduya, whose last contract came with a $3.375 million cap hit, is as much a potential asset to other teams as he would be with the Blackhawks, whose defensive group will be much thinner this season.
Again, things will get done because they have to get done. The Blackhawks will probably have to sell before they commit any money to anyone else. When the next move happens is still up in the air. Meanwhile, those waiting to, or hoping to sign deals have to practice patience.