The Chicago Blackhawks believe they’ve earned a couple of rights after winning three Stanley Cups in six years.
First, they believe they have the right to expect players to play sign deals that are favorable to the Blackhawks’ cap situation. That means veteran players that will take less than market value to play for a chance at the Cup, and that means players that are on the roster signing contracts that won’t blow out the team’s financial structure.
And if a player decided he wants a contract that does blow out the salary structure? Well, we hear Columbus is lovely in the winter.
The Blackhawks also believe they have the right to ask for patience until they get their financial house in order, which is why center Marcus Kruger and defenseman Johnny Oduya – two players bound to have attracted interest as free agents – are biding their time while GM Stan Bowman figures out what to do with either Patrick Sharp ($5.9 million) and/or Bryan Bickell ($4 million). Because both want to remain Blackhawks.
Restricted free agent Marcus Kruger decided not to file for salary arbitration and instead has kept negotiating on a longer-term contract with the Hawks. Had the center filed for arbitration, the maximum length of a deal would have been two years. According to Kruger's agent, J.P. Barry, Kruger "may have to remain patient" until the Hawks have enough room under the cap.
Meanwhile, unrestricted free agent defenseman Johnny Oduya, who has drawn plenty of interest from other NHL teams, is biding his time until the Hawks have enough room to re-sign the defenseman.
Oduya reportedly had his tires kicked by the Detroit Red Wings before they signed Mike Green. The Boston Bruins were also seen as a potential destination, but Joe Haggerty believes Oduya doesn’t bring enough offense.
And so we wait patiently until Dale Tallon decided to trade for Patrick Sharp the Blackhawks clear just a bit more salary.
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