As fans, there are some things we’ll never know about the teams we follow. How the Blackhawks roster currently fits under the salary cap is one of those things. According to Dale Tallon, everything fits.
Tallon added the signings didn’t put the Blackhawks over the NHL’s salary cap, set at $56.8 million for 2009-10.
“We’re in good shape and we’re legal,” he said “We’re under the cap.”
So as long as he is correct in his statement, then I think the chance is strong to quite strong that this might be the team you see come training camp. The only move to be made would be trading Byfuglien for a depth defenseman in, basically, a straight up salary dump. Even then, I’m still not convinced it wouldn’t be better just to play out the year with this group and see what happens.
I will not be breaking down the Hawks lines because it’s still way too early, but let me say one thing about them: since the Blackhawks signed Marian Hossa, a lot of people have penciled him into Havlat’s spot with Bolland and Ladd.
It will probably take all of 10 minutes during the team’s first practice before the temptation is far too great for Quenneville and staff to put Hossa and Kane on the same line together. Kane’s playmaking abilities and Hossa’s sniping make these two a match made in Blackhawk heaven. Since Hossa’s signing was announced and the thought first popped in my head of those two playing together, let’s just say, it’s been going from 6 to midnight quite often.
For a bit of perspective, if Kane helped Patrick Sharp transform from a fringe NHL player with a ceiling of a 20 goal scorer into a legit 40 goal threat (and he did), just think about what would happen if he was paired with Hossa. 50 goals would be the benchmark for those two.
Then, think about how much better Dave Bolland will become playing in between two world-class players, instead of just one as he did last year. The Hawks would essentially have two number one lines. The days of Q worrying about line matching would be over.
–In other news, Dale Tallon is trying to put the “Qualifying Offers Fiasco” behind him as quickly as possible. He made his most public statements today, essentially admitting they made a mistake and going in front of an arbitrator would have been a Doomsday scenario.
“We were late filing this year. It’s something we haven’t done in the past but for a couple of reasons we were a little bit later. Our intent the whole time was to sign our eight restricted free agents, and we were able to do that to continue to develop our core together.”
Dale Tallon insists that they paid market value for Kris Versteeg and Cam Barker. He’s right, they did. They didn’t overpay like the local media keeps suggesting.
The whole point of the mix-up though, was it left management no choice but to sign them. By screwing the qualifying offers up, they lost the whole advantage of having restricted free agents in the first place. Instead of waiting to see if some team wanted to swoop in and give Barker or Versteeg a silly contract, the Hawks had to give them a fair market contract so they wouldn’t lose them for nothing.
That’s not overpaying; it’s called covering your ass.