Restrictions Apply

There seems to be a bit of confusion and false panic about the restricted free agents the Blackhawks will have this off-season.  Well, allow me to quell your worries.  The Blackhawks have five key restricted free agents: Kris Versteeg, Dave Bolland, Cam Barker, Troy Brouwer, and Ben Eager. 

On July 1st, they will become available on the open market for any team to sign to an offer sheet.  However, any team that signs them and the Hawks cannot and/or refuse to match will have to give up draft picks as compensation.  Here’s how it breaks down according the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement:

  • Offer Sheet: $660,000 or below — Compensation: None
  • $660,000 to $1 Million — Third Round Pick
  • Over $1 Million to $2 Million– Second Round Pick
  • Over $2 Million to $3 Million — First Round and Third Round Picks
  • Over $3 Million to $4 Million — First, Second, and Third Round Picks
  • Over $4 to $5 Million — Two Firsts, Second, and Third Round Picks
  • Over $5 Million — Four First Round Picks

Now can everyone breathe a little easier? 

Even though, the Hockey News claims Versteeg may be one of the few players to receive an offer sheet, I’m just not buying it.

As you can tell, any team willing to sign Kris Versteeg to an offer sheet, that the Hawks can’t realistically match, will have to give up some high draft picks.  In this economy, I’m having a hard time imagining any team giving up draft picks to sign someone like Versteeg.  It’s just not going to happen.  So Versteeg, Bolland, and Barker will all return and all at reasonable contracts. 

I’m not sure the same can be said for Ben Eager or Troy Brouwer.  Eager may have played his way out of town in the last two games of the Detroit series with his antics.  He tried to incite a riot in Game 4 and in the process, looked like a bozo.  In Game 5, he was responsible for a too many men penalty and received a 10 minute misconduct for mouthing off to officials.

Troy Brouwer is a big, physical winger with no scoring touch.  The Blackhawks have a small village of players like that in Rockford.  No need to pay for Brouwer if you have a bunch of Brouwer Clones.

Just a quick random pointless note about restricted free agents: looking into next off-season, with Kane, Toews, and Keith coming up as restricted free agents, the rules are a little different.  I could definitely see teams offering the $5 million+.  With that being said, no amount of draft picks are worth losing Kane and Toews for, but four first round picks for Duncan Keith, now that’s something I’d be willing to discuss.  Alas, this is all very far away, but I thought it was interesting to think about.   

One team I will be keeping a close eye on this summer is the Edmonton Oilers.  They have a boat load of lousy contracts and two youngsters who may become expendable due to their bad decisions in Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano.  As of now, there is no way they can sign both of them.  Either of those guys would look lovely in the Indian Head.  I’m just saying.

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11 Responses to Restrictions Apply

  1. wlittle says:

    I’m sorry, but I’m not willing to part with Keith. Not in the least. Campbell can suck a fat dick if he thinks his contract is going to hand-cuff us in re-signing Dunc. I’d put Campbell on waivers twice and eat his salary in Rockford before ever thinking about leaving Keith to the open market.

  2. John says:

    I don’t think any team is going to be willing to give up four first round picks for Duncan Keith to begin with. I just thought it was interesting to think about. That would give the Hawks 8 first round picks for the next four years. Plus it gives them picks to trade. Lot of options.

    Campbell’s name never came up once in thinking Keith couldn’t get re-signed. It was just something to ponder if the Hawks don’t get Keith signed by July 1 of next year. The Hawks can always play chicken and see if anyone is willing to try and sign him to a monster deal. That’s the beauty of having restricted free agents.

  3. Lou says:

    Maybe we can even get interesting and sign the twins. HIGHLY, HIGHLY unlikely but the Hawks want a contender and you can go 10% over the cap to start and then have to get down under it.

    They exploded on the scene last year with signing Campbell and as enigmatic as he may be, he produced some points. He can work on his D but that is not his game. He was signed to move the puck out of the zone and contribute offensively. He did that.

    One thing for sure is Rocky and McD want a winner and are gonna do it the Detroit way, strategic signings and building from within. So your Keith theory is highly plausible. Hopefully he is part of the puzzle. I like the upside he has.

    I think Brouwer and Eager are gone. Beach is a more talented Eager and more gifted offensively. What we do with Sami will be intersting. To re-sign Sami, you have to truly believe Bolland is a #2 C. I would keep Bolland over Sami. I think Buff may be moving as well.

  4. Kyle says:

    Imagine if we got Sam Gagner, and put Kane and him on the same line. They played on the same line together for the London Knights and lit it up. He can be a second line center, or a first line center since Kane is a top three forward. Keep the HavBollLadd line intact and you have 3 great lines. Maybe I’m going to crazy over this but if we got Gagner I’d be a very very happy man. I love him already and he’s nasty in the shootout, for all those shootout losses we had this year (I’m not saying thats a reason to get him just another added plus.

    What are your thoughts?

  5. Lee says:

    If anyone saw Aliu in the Rockford game against the Wolves you will see that he is a Buff sized guy with great skating and hitting power and can fight. If he can only keep his mouth shut. He is way more talented then Beach and much tougher

  6. Lou says:

    I think if we go after guys like Gagne, we may be saying Havlat is gone and Kane is ready to step up and fulfill the sniper role. Kane is as gifted with the puck but Havlat is a little faster. Gagner would be a good signing but we have to be cognisant of the need to sign the young guns as well.

    I have a feeling Toews is the guy they are going to lock up first and for a long, long time. He is the guy to build a franchise around. Detroit did it with Yzerman, Colorado with Sakic. Not saying he is at their level yet but he should be and he is a leader.

  7. John says:

    Kyle, for all the reasons you mentioned are why I’m keeping a tab on Edmonton this summer. Obviously, this is all a bunch of fan-boy optimism but it was just something that stuck out to me and maybe in our wildest dreams, it will come true.

    I’m having a hard time believing Havlat is getting re-signed. Thinking otherwise will only bring you heartbreak.

  8. John says:

    Again, Gagner isn’t a RFA until next summer. I’m not making promises here people. I’m just saying to keep an eye on them because one of those two guys, I would love for the Hawks to get their hands on.

  9. Patrick says:

    The RFA compensation scale is wrong.

    It changes from year to year dependent on the average league salary.

    for instance here is the compensation scale for 08-09:

    $863,156 or less


    — $863,156 – $1,307,812

    3rd round pick

    — $1,307,812 – $2,615,625

    2nd round pick

    — $2,615,623 – $3,923,437

    1st and 3rd round pick

    — $3,923,437 – $5,231,249

    1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick

    — $5,231,249 – $6,539,062

    Two 1st’s, one 2nd, one 3rd round pick

    –$6,539,062 or more

    Four 1st round picks

    I’m not sure what it will be for this upcoming off-season

  10. Brian says:

    Either way, whatever happens with this team Dale Tallon and his staff know what they have to do and as a Hawks fan, I am not all too worried about the product that will be put on the ice next season. Even if Havlat leaves, Chicago will attract many names this off season and for years to come. Havlat will be re-signed in my opinion because of his presence on the ice and in the locker room. I also like the Gagne idea but I still think the Hawks will be fairly quite this offseason. It should be fun over the next 6 weeks to see what develops though

  11. John says:

    I knew that Patrick but thanks for breaking it down for us. I just threw up a new post. Thanks!

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