While we sit and wait with baited breath like a high school gossip girl hanging on every rumor about whether the pretty cheerleaders (Hawks free agents) will agree to go out with the jock (Dale Tallon), let’s take a quick look at what the facts are:
Dave Bolland isn’t going anywhere. Experts like Steve Konroyd are incredibly nervous about some team swooping in with some lucrative contract the Hawks can’t match, but I have a hard time believing any team is going to offer up a deal that will cost them more than one draft pick for a guy who has one full season of 47 points under his belt.
For the sake of contrast, Boston’s David Krejci just recently signed a three year, $12 million dollar contract. He of the 73 points and +37 in his first full season. If there’s any general manager out there willing to pay more than that for Dave Bolland, then let Kevin Lowe have mercy on their soul.
The Martin Havlat rumors will continue to toy with Hawks fans’ emotions. The whispers of Havlat accepting less money to stay with the Hawks may certainly be true. If it is, then the question must be asked, what is taking so long for something to get worked out?
Well, the Hawks have to be 100% certain that a) Havlat will not suffer any long term effects from the concussion he suffered in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, b) Havlat will continue to be the superlative two-way player that everyone thought he was when they acquired him three summers ago and not just for one season and c) his contract won’t cripple the cap.
This may take a while to play out and in the end, it may only lead to heartbreak for all the Marty lovers, yours truly included. You have been warned.
The Blackhawks are still in an excellent cap situation. As of right now, the Hawks have 13 players signed for next year and only $36 million going into next year’s cap according to NHL Numbers. The cap hasn’t been set yet for the 2009-2010 season, so we’ll get a better understanding of where the Hawks stand once it is set.
We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact, though, that the Hawks are in just as good of shape as the other young and upcoming teams. People like the Columnist Who Shall Remain Nameless love to point out teams like Columbus and St. Louis don’t have the same problems as the Hawks when it comes to the cap.
Because certainly $11 million tied up in Paul Kariya and Andy McDonald or having approximately $12 million tied up in R.J. Umberger, Kristian Huselius, and Mike Commodore is the epitomy of solid cap management.
The bottom line is, all teams have plenty of land mines to avoid when it comes to the cap and not losing their own key players. The Hawks are no different from any one else.
What shouldn’t be forgotten is that, for the first time since probably the franchise’s inception, the Hawks have a front office who won’t be hesitant to shell out the cash to keep their key players.