The Chicago Blackhawks have decided to relieve their Niklas Hjalmarsson headache by matching the 4-year, $14 million offer sheet given to the defenseman by the San Jose Sharks. Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times broke that news and later added the Blackhawks remain in negotiations with restricted free-agent goalie Antti Niemi(notes).
In doing so, Cap Geek has the Blackhawks currently with $113,410 in cap space and 15 players under contract. Which is pretty damn frightening for a Chicago fan ... until one realizes that by making the Cristobal Huet(notes) mistake go away in the AHL, that cap space balloons to $5,738,410. But then they'd be down to 14 roster players. Which, by our math, isn't nearly enough.
Once again, the Blackhawks are back in a cap conundrum. Hope to god someone takes Brian Campbell off their hands? Say goodbye to the beloved Patrick Sharp, after already doing so for the beloved Dustin Byfuglien(notes) and Kris Versteeg(notes)?
Only one thing's for certain: Sharks GM Doug Wilson certainly doesn't let nostalgia get in the way of putting the screws to a conference rival. Wonder if this is what they had in mind when they let Evgeni Nabokov's(notes) salary skate to Russia.