Blackhawks

Report: Blackhawks will carry a hefty salary cap overage into 2016-17

Report: Blackhawks will carry a hefty salary cap overage into 2016-17

It's no secret the Blackhawks are up against the salary cap. 

After trading Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen to Carolina, the Blackhawks cleared nearly $5 million in cap space, giving themselves some breathing room heading into free agency on July 1.

But maybe not as much as initially anticipated.

The Blackhawks will carry a $3.07 million salary cap overage into the 2016-17 season, Blackhawks assistant general manager Norm Maciver told The Athletic's Scott Powers on Thursday. The overage is due to the bonuses of Artemi Panarin ($2.8 million), Teravainen ($212,500) and Michal Rozsival ($100,000), equaling $3,112,500, which means the Blackhawks finished the 2015-16 campaign with $42,500 cap space left over, according to generalfanager.com.

It's a substantial increase from their $750,000 cap overage in 2015-16.

It's perhaps what forced the Blackhawks' hand in parting ways with Teravainen since it meant shedding every penny of Bickell's $4 million contract, rather than a potential buyout, which would have counted against the cap for $1 million this season and $1.5 million next year.

The Blackhawks currently have 16 players locked up for a total of $66 million, and that doesn't include the pending restricted free agency of Andrew Shaw. They also retained $1.125 million of Rob Scuderi's salary, which counts against the cap, after he was traded to Los Angeles mid-season. 

The National Hockey League has yet to determine a number for the 2016-17 salary cap ceiling, but it's not expected to be a big jump — if at all — from the $71.4 million cap ceiling set in 2015-16.

NHL Draft Profile: F Oliver Wahlstrom

NHL Draft Profile: F Oliver Wahlstrom

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Oliver Wahlstrom

Position: Right wing
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 205 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"Wahlstrom already has an NHL-caliber shot with a quick release and the ability to create space for himself and linemates. He's most known for his goal-scoring ability and elite shot, and can hit a one-timer as good or better than many professional players."

NHL player comparable: Phil Kessel

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks would probably prefer to take a defenseman at No. 8, but because four of them might go inside the Top 7, the best available player on the board is likely to be a forward. And there's a decent chance that could be Wahlstrom.

Wahlstrom would immediately become Chicago's top prospect, and a player that has the potential to slide into the top six when he reaches the NHL — whenever that may be.

He's committed to college for the 2018-19 season, so it's doubtful he would join the team until at least 2019-20, but Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley said in our draft preview edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast that it wouldn't deter them from picking him. 

And it shouldn't, because you don't want to waste a player of his caliber's entry-level years developing in the minors if he's not ready yet.

"I think the way we would evaluate it is, we project them, we try to get a timeline on when we think they might be NHL ready," Kelley said. "But we're also looking for where they are in their development curve and want their ceiling is. I think in some players, you have to be a little bit more patient for them to reach their ceiling. That doesn't necessarily mean that players can't exceed their development curve, I think we saw that with Alex DeBrincat last year."

NHL Draft Profile: D Rasmus Dahlin

NHL Draft Profile: D Rasmus Dahlin

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Rasmus Dahlin

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 181 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"Is the clear-cut No. 1, pro ready prospect for the 2018 draft. He has the skating, skills and elite hockey sense that can dictate the style of play and the pace of a game, whether it's with or without the puck. He finds ways to contribute and get the job done in all situations."

NHL player comparable: Nicklas Lidstrom

Fit for Blackhawks:

There is zero chance the Blackhawks can snag Dahlin, because it's highly unlikely the Buffalo Sabres would consider moving out of the No. 1 spot, and even if they did it would require a king's ransom. But for the sake of this exercise, what would Dahlin do for the Blackhawks organization?

Well, he's a player who immediately slots into your Top 4 and has the potential to emerge as Chicago's best defenseman in the next year or two. We're seeing it in Boston with Charlie McAvoy, Philadelphia with Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov, and Columbus with Zach Werenski and Seth Jones where these young defensemen are changing the directions of their franchise's.

That's what Dahlin would do for the Blackhawks, who are in desperate need of a young, impact blue liner. Now back to reality.