• Matt

    One way or another it feels like Stan is confident in what will happen. Otherwise I don’t think Kruger and Oduya would be waiting around like this.

    • HarryBalzonya

      Word is that deals have been worked out with both Kruger and Oduya. The only hold up is clearing enough cap space to sign those deals. That is why they are waiting, but they aren’t going to wait around until camp on a handshake deal. If something doesn’t happen fairly soon they could walk.

      • Lemmy

        Oduya could walk. Kruger isn’t going anywhere as an RFA unless dealt or sheeted.

  • Good summary of the situation. I’ve been pandering on that Sharp holds the key to the rest of the moves to come. It’s going to be interesting to say the least.

  • Cluster_Puck

    There is something strange about this whole situation. I felt Sharp did not move at the draft because Stan knew the Saad situation was falling apart. Now with Krueger and Oduya sitting and waiting, I keep thinking something is coming out of left field to shock us all.

    • Supposedly, there were multiple offers on Sharp during the draft. But no one wanted to give a 1st rounder for him. Bowman held firm and here we are.

      • Black JEM

        If that is true – and we get burned at deadline, that will be a significant miscalculation on his part. I must presume he has better knowledge to turn things down. But the return for Sharp I would think will keep falling. The Cap isn’t where many hoped, and there will be more downward pressure next year.

  • Sarcastic Mike

    The Semin possibility reminds me of the thought I had today when reading that Alexander Radulov was looking for a deal. Not that I want either player necessarily, but is there a market inefficiency to exploit given the Hawks winning reputation and vaunted leadership core?
    Given the hard salary cap, winning teams find depth by exploiting market inefficiencies, such as having a Conn Symthe winning defenseman for a $5.5m cap hit because you locked him up long term. So given the reputation for winning and hard work that the Hawks, Quenville, and core players have, is there an opportunity to add a player or two each year with a sullied reputation that you can get value for? How much downside risk is eliminated by your lockroom, and can you exploit it?
    If Anisimov had been on the roster for a year or two and was an absolute known quantity and part of the fabric of the team that could be counted on to shepard a Russian player with a wayward reputation through the ins and outs of playing and living in Chciago, I’d absolutely roll the dice. Aksing him to do that for several new Russians all at once when he is new as well is a much bigger ask. Still, it may provide the opportunity to do everything Sam described above AND add another cheap vet on the blueline or have salary room at the deadline. It is a tantalizing opportunity.

    • Sarcastic Mike

      To clarify…I’m talking “sullied reputation” like Brad Richards being old or Alex Semin being lazy, not Mike Ribero “sullied reputation”.

      • AirTrafficAJ

        That’s not so much a “sullied reputation” as a “repeat offender”

    • Jim


  • Ned Braden

    You know what… I love this guy. He’s fantastic at scoring goals, and he’s super handsome. I want to be him. He’s my idol. But… really… he’s just not even close to being a decent two way guy, and the floatiness with which we’ve jokingly poked fun at Kane applies to Sharpy full force. He’s consistently buried in possession and making defensive lapses (all eye test, I lack the cognitive abilities to actually understand stats).
    But.. the goals! He certainly adds value to the team, and I’ll be fine with seeing him in the Indian Head this fall if the stars align. But with his cap hit being what it is? Shit… hope it doesn’t come at the expense of Kruger. Cause Kruger’s a damn near perfect, under the radar, bargain basement shut down guy who exceeds his cap value tenfold. Im drunk.

    • Ned Braden

      Oh, and Bickell sucks.

  • Cluster_Puck

    Nillson dealt to oilers, (who many reported Hawks were high on, so Raanta was expendable). Could this be the first domino?

    • Lionel Hutz

      Interesting. Someone said Hawks greatest need this offseason was goal tending depth and I laughed at them. Now I am not so sure. Though the 5 in front of the goalie is just as important.

      • Jim

        It’s difficult to keep the third guy interested in sticking around with Crow and the Lemont Native in front. So it becomes a turnstyle. Leighton…

    • GoldenJet

      First domino?

    • lisa simpson

      They were high on him, but he was refusing to sign deals without guaranteed playing time

    • HarryBalzonya

      Nillson wasn’t willing to play in the AHL. That is the reason he left for the KHL in the first place. With Crawford and Darling in place, he didn’t have a legit shot at playing anywhere but the AHL for us. So we moved him.

  • Feenux

    I’ve always liked Sharp and would be sad to see him go – but to me this is a no brainer. If Sharp really did sleep with a teammate wife, then for the sake of the locker room he needs to go. I’ve heard it was Keith’s wife, although I haven’t seen it confirmed anywhere. Asking the two of them to put it aside and finish the season is one thing, but asking them to continue to play together seems like a lot. And, given the choice, I’d obviously rather see Sharp go.

    • Sharp is purely a cap casualty nothing more, nothing less. I don’t think you need to bring up any off ice issues that are not factually proven anywhere other than innuendo.

    • ZigZags82

      Strictly on ice performance. Please no need for tabloid commenting here based on no factual basis. 🙂

    • WaitTillNextYr

      Are we really back to this?

    • HossasPierogi

      What kind of idiot do you think Keith is? You are disparaging him as much as you disparage Sharp when you say these things. Stop it.

  • Brandon Murray

    Semin has also scored 40 goals once if I remember correctly. Guess it would depend on what type of 1 year deal Semin considers a bargain to himself. Richards was a steal, but through about the first 41 games of the season I found myself saying “God Dammit Richards!” atleast once per game. Then after the Winter Classic and through the playoffs, he became the steal I had hoped for. Perhaps Semin could be that guy, but if we are talking about aging scorers who aren’t as good but are now still capable of scoring, I think I’d rather have Sharp……..

    Unless we can move Sharp for zero returning salary and sign Semin for 2 million a year. Pipe dream? I just don’t know.

    Also, I’m anxiously awaiting the Kruger deal, I think he is too important to the 4th line to go anywhere. Need him back.

    • Jim

      The Hawks make everybody better. Solid system, good coaching, the core of experienced players. A guy like Semin can do well if he has something left in the tank, and isn’t washed up.

  • T.M.

    only way sharp could stay is if they trade either seabrook or crawford.and i don’t see that happening. although freeing up the money to resign seabrook will probably require a magician.

  • Dan

    Who knows what had been offered for Sharp but one thing is for sure, everyone knows the cap hell the Blackhawks are in and everyone is going to lowball accordingly. Any thought that a team is going to give us any sort of value for Sharp or Bickell is gone now. I have a feeling it’s going to be like last year after we head into preseason over the cap and end up with a Leddy sequel.

  • One thing to consider salary cap wise that I totally forgot when I was screwing around playing with the numbers.

    The Hawks are carrying a $750,000 bonus overage from last year (I think from Timonen). In addition, Panarin has a (according to CapsHockey.com) 1.725M in performance bonuses. You’re going want to have a buffer to absorb that.

    I’ve asked to get more information on what the conditions are for those bonuses, I’m waiting to hear back. If it’s something like 1M for Art Ross trophy or Conn-Smythe then you can not worry about that bonus. But if it’s something like plays 10 games, gets 500K then its basically money that has to be accounted for.

    • Doog

      Any chance you know the difference between A and B bonuses? My guess is that next year’s cap raise (whistling past graveyard) is expected to cover Panarin’s bonus overage.

      • Brain Sprain

        Nobody knows

  • HawkeyTalk

    Let the D men from Rockford get promoted to NHL – How long are the Rockford boys going to wait to get a chance in the big leagues?! Can’t keep dumping overboard Rockford talent because Q-ball doesn’t want to train up the young guns!…. We don’t need Oduya…. Let him walk! Geez Bowman couldn’t package Bickell in the CBJ trade? Who you kidding?!

    • Icdws

      I’m with you. How many times was it said last season that the team needs to Q-proofed. This is another example. Oduya is a step closer to Rozival redux. Let him go. Otherwise the kids will not develop and we are left hoping the core can simply reach down and do it again.

      The lesson from 2014 loss to Kings was Hawks needed more strength and size, especially up the middle. So they got Richards added Vermy and rode the core back to the cup. What is the lesson of 2015? I think it is getting the core some help. That means letting some go, adding some skilled youth and bringing in 7 able bodied dmen. The moves so far point in that direction. Oduya will be the indicator of how this goes..(Semin on a bargain year is awfully enticing).

      Let oduya go, sharp too, versteeg, Bickel. It most likely means adding picks and prospects to sweeten deals. So be it. Sign Kruger, let the kids loose. Watch Q’s head spin. Sounds like fun.

    • HossasPierogi

      D-men take forever to develop, and you don’t have that luxury on a top contender. People forget that Keith and Seabrook toiled — and made many beginners’ mistakes — in relatively obscurity before becoming all-stars. Toward achieving the 3 Cups, our d-men as a unit have been just as important as Toews/Kane and the goaltenders. We could still use Oduya if we expect to win again next year.

  • jordyhawk

    If the choice is between icing the best team possible for next year and getting us out of cap hell I vote for the latter. Sharp costs too much and he still has another left after this one. Oduya will not be dirt cheap and I would think would want at least a couple of years on a new deal. Bickell for a third would be all we should ask.

    It’s been a great run and it’s not over, but let’s clear the cap space and reset the table. Besides we need to work in the new blood. Give some guys away if we have to. With all the new guys I think it is going to be a fun year anyways. I love the idea of us coming into the year not as favorites and playing loose and maybe making some noise in the spring.

    • Publius Federalist No 10

      Cup contending teams will always be in “Cap H_ll” that is jus the Nature of a hard capped League.

  • Brain Sprain

    Nobody outside of the front office can make an intelligent statement on what’s to come, the reason? Panarin has a contract with over $2.5 million in bonus money. That is potential cap hit. You need to budget for it or it comes of the next years cap of it is earned by the player. I’m not seeing mock rosters that budget for anything on the bonus front. How easy are the bonuses to earn? Nobody outside of the Organ I Zation has an idea. Not Sam or even the beat writers.

    Also, The Canadian dollar is not likely to rebound significantly in the next year which means continued pressures on Hockey Related Revenue.

    Moving Bickell and Versteeg does not give enough room for oduya or Sharp. Sharp and Bickell need to go. Sorry.

    Lots of contracts expire at the end of 16. So blackhawks can’t afford a deferred cap hit from bonuses earned this year. It’s worse than reported.

    • Doog

      You don’t hamstring a Stanley Cup contender based on what might happen in a year.

      A number of contracts end, it’s true. But the only major loss would be Seabrook. And if the ‘Hawks and Biscuit are willing to commit to a long-term deal, his cap hit could go down. Other UFA’s are Tikhonov and Versteeg. Yawn.

      RFA’s are Shaw, TVR, Morin, Johns, and the 2011 1st rounders. Aside from Shaw, a nice player but hardly someone for whom you should break the bank, is there a player here who is going to command a major pay raise? Yes, I noticed that whole Brandon Saad 36M/6yrs thingie – none of these guys are in that time zone let alone zip code.

      Between the players’ right to up the cap by 5% (that’s still a thing, right?) and the almost inevitable LTIR’s, the ‘Hawks should largely be able to avoid intense pain from Panarin’s bonuses. And if not, I will tip my hat and call you Cassandra out of respect.

      Incidentally, one of the reasons that the Blackhawks are being discussed as a dynasty is that the FO is pretty bright. They basically signed Panarin to a $3.25M contract but are only carrying a $0.8xM cap hit.

      • As BrainSprain mentioned above, if those are fluff bonuses, then you basically have to count the whole thing. If there are things like top rookie scorer, etc. Then there’s a chance they escape that.

        • Doog

          Which year’s cap do you count them against?

          • GoldenJet

            They go against the current year. If the bonuses take you over the cap, the difference is applied against the next season’s cap.

            Rookies and old vets are allowed bonus clauses.

            I originally thought the bonuses were protected by a buffer…it does not appear that they are. You can definitely exceed the cap with rookie and old vet bonuses, but they likely will come back to haunt you next season.

          • Doog

            Alright. That’s what I thought, although my writing was something other than clear.

            In my opinion, the ‘Hawks should be comfortable with the prospect of rolling Panarin’s bonus over to count against the 2016-17 cap because the cap will likely go up a bit, they are likely to get cap relief due to players going on LTIR, and most of the summer of ’16 free agents should be easy to sign.

          • Brain Sprain

            The cap would have been somewhere around 68m next year if the players did not use the escalator. Cap going up significantly is not assured. I wouldn’t count on it as automatic.

          • Doog

            Oh, I’m with you on expecting a tiny rise in the cap next year. But the Blackhawks don’t have any salaries leaping upwards. So I believe that, when you estimate in-season cap relief from LTIR, the Panarin bonuses are something you expect to deal with later.

            There’s also some chance that Panarin can’t translate his game to North America. The ‘Hawks would be laughably thin on the left side if they trade away Versteeg, Bickell, and Sharp and then watch Panarin head right back to mother Russia.

            Writing that makes me think that one of those three players will still be a Blackhawk come opening night.

        • lizmcneill

          Why is everyone assuming Panarin meets his bonuses? Schedule A bonuses are capped at 850K and he may not meet the condition anyway. Most of that 2.5M has to be in Schedule B bonuses. He’s not winning the Calder because if McDavid’s legs fall off, there’s Eichel. He’s not winning a Selke because he’s a winger. No Norris or Vezina either. We only have to worry about him winning the Art Ross, the Hart and the Conn Smythe.

          • Well what about the lady bing?

          • I’m kidding… You’re right the Schedule B bonuses are actually pretty tough. If anybody cares about them they are on page 328 of the CBA.

          • Jim

            What about the Lady Bing? I’m sure if he wins the Hart and the Conn Smythe, they would be happy to pay the bonus.

          • cza

            Following Liz and Derek’s pointers, I snipped some of the relevant pages for those who are curious:

            Aside: I initially made the mistake of downloading the 2005 CBA and it was as though I had asked Handzuš to skate to Toronto to get me a hard copy.

      • 60MinutesBaby60

        ” … are in that time zone let alone zip code.”
        Nice turn of a phrase. X let alone Y such a cool way of getting a point across compariison-wise. Well done bud.

    • GoldenJet

      So, “Nobody outside of the front office can make an intelligent statement on what’s to come”….

      Yet, “It’s worse than reported”

      You probably should get that Sprain checked out.

  • Brian Soda Man

    I’d be happy with just dumping the salary for draft picks or lower prospects at this point. Dano, Anisimov, Panarin, Tikhnov are four solid additions and really the Hawks have only lost Saad at this point. Vermy/Dezy were only added due to Kane’s injury. Getting Dezy back at $800k was an enormous gift. If you study the Sadd trade from all sides and take off the Stanley Cup goggles I think Bowman does the trade without the threat of an offer sheet. If Stan can clean up the Dman situation at least moderately(equivalent to where the reg season ended) it can be argued the Blackhawks will be stronger this season than last.

  • Sopel the catfish

    Tarasenko 8 years at 60 million, also TVR gets a new contract 2 year deal 825K average


  • Aaeismacgychel

    Maybe my understanding of the CBA is incorrect in regards to ELC performance bonuses, but it is my understanding teams are allowed a 7.5% overage of the overall cap to put towards potential ELC/35+ performance bonuses. So Panarin’s performance bonuses may possibly be handled that way. Let do some math to see where we’re at:

    Total ELC/35+ performance bonuses allowable: $5.355M (71.4*.075)
    Panarin ELC perf bonus: $2.575M
    Dano ELC perf bonus: $0
    Teravainen ELC perf bonus: $650K
    Johns ELC perf bonus: $300K
    Pokka ELC perf bonus: $850K
    Danault ELC perf bonus: $175K
    Hartman ELC perf bonus: $0
    Haggerty ELC perf bonus: $425K
    McNeill ELC perf bonus: $537.5K
    Baun ELC perf bonus: $0

    So based on those numbers, it appears that Panarin’s performance bonus would not count against our cap this year. We may possibly have to pay an overage next year on it depending on how he performs, but from my understanding of the CBA, I do not believe his possible performance bonuses will affect our cap in any way this year. So hopefully that puts everyone’s minds a little more at ease (so long as I am correct)

    • Doog

      Thanks for putting this together. It does clarify when the team has to worry about different parts of Panarin’s performance bonus. Although all of those bonuses do add up to about $150K over the buffer amount.

      Looking at this another way, Stanley B. is going to have to earn his paycheck both this summer AND next year.

      • Aaeismacgychel

        I believe the performance bonus only counts for players on the team. It’s doubtful all of those players are going to have a call up this year, so we should be okay from a this year standpoint how I see it. Next year may be more problematic.

    • Brain Sprain

      You can budget for the bonuses in the year they are earned or defer the difference to the next year. Deferring cap hits from bonuses is dangerous

      • Aaeismacgychel

        Sure, but the player still needs to hit those bonuses. The risk of that happening is low, but if it were to happen, that would mean we got an extraordinary All-Star year from the kid. At this point, it’s worth the risk as it would only affect next year’s cap if it pays out.

  • Jim

    Something will materialize out of left field. Who was thinking Saad to Columbus? Kruger deal needs to get done.

    • I’m hopeful, however, the longer this drags on the less hopeful I become.

      That being said I actually think Oduya is the more important first piece. Not a piece presently around ready to take 20 min a night. You theoretically can backfill Kruger with Danault and have Desi/Shaw take faceoffs until he improves. But that’d be a big backup plan not the desired 1st path.

      So let’s just get both done and call it a day!

      • Doog

        I think you’re right about the relative depth of checking line center vs. 2nd pairing d-men for the ‘Hawks. In addition to Danault, I can see using one of the centers from the Saad trade as a checking line center in a playoff series scenario. Although this would obviously bollux up the chemistry that had been developed over the course of the regular season.

  • B.I.G. Forever

    This team has defied the odds by doing something that contradicts the standard format in which hockey teams sustain success: they don’t hit.
    Most nights the Hawks are the least physical team in the league. It’s been said ad nauseam – but this team is built on speed and skill – with physicality coming in low on the list.

    I always loved Sharpie because he’s always been physical, he used to score 34 goals a year and don’t let the pretty boy looks fool you – this man has a real mean streak. Those three attributes make him a special player. Add to that his trade from Philly marked the VERY beginning of what would become the most envied franchise dynasty run in the last 15 years – maybe ever.

    His shoulder is hurt and I don’t know how bad it is. He clearly played injured last year. The numbers are down and he’s on the wrong side of 30. I still love this player but I’m not sure if it’s just nostalgia.

    I had a day dream that the Hawks bundled Bickel/Sharp/Oduya/Morin for Tarasenko. What a contract that man got today…

  • strych9

    Hawks had spencer abbott in rockford. He’s a lw. Really would’ve liked to see him at camp. Had a good year and made $525,000. But he signed to play in europe.

  • Chuck Miller

    One question… could they extend Sharp at a Cap friendly number? He know’s he’s not going to get much more than he has in his next contract, so why not stay and win a another Cup or three?

    • GoldenJet

      Pretty sure that an extension doesn’t retroactively affect salary cap hit…For example, if Sharp had $6mil x 3 seasons left, the Hawks couldn’t extend him at $2mil/per year for 3 years, thus lowering his average cap hit to a much more friendly $4.

      His current cap hit continues until the end of the term of this contract.