Salary cap hell, that is.
I really, really hate to rain on anyone’s parade. As a fan of an Original Six team (which is also suffering from a Stanley Cup drought), I was happy to see the Blackhawks and their fans celebrate their well-deserved victory. But I couldn’t help but bite my lip and say, “but… but… you all realize what’s going to happen, don’t you?”
Folks, the Chicago Blackhawks have 14 players under contract for next season, and they are $798,003 over the cap.
That’s right. Over.
And that doesn’t even include Jonathan Toews’ $1.3 million bonus for winning the Conn Smythe Trophy (amusing to see panic over that, like it’s making some huge difference).
It's not your fault, not really
It’s the salaries, folks. Brian Campbell: $7.142 million. Patrick Kane: $6.3 million. Toews: $6.3 million. Duncan Keith: $5.538 million. Marian Hossa: $5.275 million. Patrick Sharp: $3.9 million. Dave Bolland: $3.375 million. Christobal Huet: $5.625 million. (!) Check out the gory details here.
And y’know, banishing Huet to the minors isn’t going to solve Chicago’s problems.
I’m sure there were plenty of tears flowing amongst the Blackhawks during their Cup celebrations, because they know. This team, this band of happy winners, will never be together again, not until they have their Stanley Cup reunions 20, 30 years from now.
Kane and Toews will surely be retained, and the Blackhawks will probably continue to be a winning team. But a dynasty? I’m afraid any hopes of that will very soon be tossed in the bin with the empty champagne bottles. It’s going to be one hell of a hangover in Chicago.