LAS VEGAS – On the ice and in the locker room, the Blackhawks will be feeling the loss of Marian Hossa. But what does it mean for them on the business side?
Hossa will miss the 2017-18 season due to severe side effects from medication he’s been taking to treat a skin disorder. Hossa has four years remaining on his current contract, with a $5.275 million cap hit per season. Earlier this week, the NHL announced that the salary cap will be $75 million for the 2017-18 season. If the Blackhawks spend up to that $75 million mark, they could utilize Hossa’s entire $5.275 million cap hit on other players.
According to CapFriendly — by the way, the website’s FAQs on the LTIR is handy — the Blackhawks cannot place Hossa on LTIR until the day before the season. A team can be 10 percent over the cap during the summer but a team must be cap compliant when the regular season begins.
The Blackhawks are currently $2.52 million over the $75 million cap thanks in large part to player bonuses. The Blackhawks lost Trevor van Riemsdyk ($825,000 cap hit) to the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night. Marcus Kruger ($3.083 cap hit this season and the next) remains with the Blackhawks but there's still a possibility he could be moved. That would also alleviate the Blackhawks’ cap issues. The team will have a few voids to fill this offseason, including finding a backup goaltender.
Hossa’s loss on the ice will be a tough one for the Blackhawks to absorb. On the business side, the Blackhawks could gain financial flexibility.