Depending on who you believe, nhlnumbers.com has the Blackhawks with 11.801 of cap space after the Hossa, Kopecky, and John Madden signings. Hockey Buzz’s Cap Central has the Hawks with 11.670 of cap space WITHOUT the John Madden signing (1 year at $2.75 million). So if you add that in, they have roughly below 9 million in cap space.
That leaves Ben Eager, Kris Versteeg, Troy Brouwer, and Cam Barker to fight over the scraps. Eager and Brouwer won’t take much to sign, let’s say about 2 million for the pair. Cam Barker will probably take about 3 million to lock up. That leaves Kris Versteeg as the odd man out.
Whether the Hawks have 6 million or 4 million in cap space with 18 players signed, it doesn’t really matter as Versteeg will probably be playing somewhere else next season. While Barker was the early favorite of the restricted free agents to get dealt, at this juncture, the Hawks really can’t afford to lose him due to their lack of depth at the defensive position. So here’s hoping the Hawks get something in return for Versteeg.
Speaking of defensive depth, some of the best news today was Matt Walker signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Consider revenge finally paid for the unfortunate Jassen Cullimore Incident. In fact, scientists are still trying to figure out if Walker and Cullimore are actually clones of each other.
Be on the look out early Thursday morning for Bobby’s take on all of today’s activities.