The Chicago Blackhawks’ Blueprint To Solving Salary Cap Dilemma | Bleacher Report

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Huh/Associated Press 0 Comments There isnt a team in the NHL in more cap trouble than the Chicago Blackhawks . It isnt a coincidence that the Blackhawks have been one of the most successful teams in the league over the last half-decade; the team has had to walk a fine line between keeping itself a contender and complying with the salary ceiling. Unlike Philadelphia , Tampa Bay and Boston (the three teams that lists as currently being over the cap) Chicago doesnt have a ready-made solution in the form of a player ready to be assigned to long-term injured reserve. What it does have is a useful yet expendable player to dangle in front of other teams. Len Redkoles/Getty Images Back in July, we wrote that trading Nick Leddy for futures was Chicagos easiest way out of its current cap predicament. The removal of his $2.7 million cap hit would go a long way toward getting Chicago back in the black (CapGeeks best guess at the teams roster has them roughly $2.2 million over the league-mandated limit), and with both David Rundblad and Adam Clendening in the system the team has built-in replacement options. Such a trade would also remove an impediment next summer, when Leddy becomes a restricted free agent. Its a far better idea than trading Johnny Oduya, who is much less replaceable in his key role on the Blackhawks shutdown pairing. But even with Leddy gone, the Blackhawks are going to be close to the ceiling. That gives them limited ability later in the year to take on salary to address any weaknesses that have developed or simply to load up with rentals for the playoffs. It means that theyll need to watch every penny, perhaps going with a 22-man roster rather than a full 23-man list at points in the year. source:

Blackhawks hoping Richards can anchor 2nd line – Yahoo Sports

What gave the Capitals an added boost, however, was the play of rookie Nicklas Backstrom. While just 1-8-9 in 21 games before Thanksgiving, he finished up the 2007 portion of the season 6-13-19 in 18 games. By year’s end the Caps were making a shambles of the Southeast Division race, holding a 12-point lead over Carolina. They were in good position in the conference standings as well. When they beat the Ottawa Senators , 8-6, to end the 2007 portion of the season with an exclamation point, they held a 24-10-5 record, one point behind the Senators for the Eastern Conference lead. The new year started as well as it ended for the Caps and the kids. Washington opened by completing a home-and-home sweep of the Senators in the first game of 2008 to take the Eastern Conference lead. It propelled them to a 7-2-0 record to start 2008. Ovechkin scored goals in eight of the 13 games in January, putting another 14 goals on his 2007-2008 ledger. He capped the month with one of the best single game performances in the history of the franchise. On January 31st against the Montreal Canadiens , he scored first, last, and in-between. When he scored the Caps sixth goal of the game into an empty net with 33 seconds left to give the Caps a 6-3 win, he became just the third player in franchise history to record five goals in a game, joining Bengt Gustafsson and Peter Bondra in that achievement. With the assist he added on Viktor Kozlov’s second period goal he became the only the sixth Capital to record six or more points in a single game, joining Mike Ridley, Dino Ciccarelli, Michal Pivonka, and Jaromir Jagr on that list. Not to be outdone, Crosby finished January 4-15-19 in 13 games. He had two four-point games, recording a goal and three assists in the 6-3 win over Ottawa to open the new year and a two-goal/two-assist night in a 6-5 shootout win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on the 21st. The top line was not providing all the scoring. Alexander Semin had six goals in 13 games, and Nicklas Backstrom went 2-12-14 in 13 games, including a pair of four-assist efforts coming in consecutive games, a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers on the 19th and again in the 6-5 shootout win over the Penguins two days later. The Caps hit a bit of a stall in February. They had just two regulation wins in the first three weeks of play during the month, posting a 4-3-2 record. Although the offense slowed down some – the Caps averaged only 2.33 goals over those nine games – their defense had become a bit leaky as well, allowing 2.89 goals per game. With the month winding down and the trading deadline of February 26th approaching, the Caps were thinking about what needed to be nailed down to give them a better shot at a long playoff run. No Matter How Fast You Skate The Capitals were cruising with Alex Ovechkin threatening to obliterate the league record for goals by a left wing, Sidney Crosby heading to his third straight 100-point season, and Nicklas Backstrom on just about everyone’s short list for Calder Trophy consideration at the league’s top rookie. On top of that, Alexander Semin was proving a capable complement to Backstrom on the second line, and Mike Green was emerging as one of the top offensive defensemen in the game, earning the nickname “Game Over Green” with three overtime, game-winning goals as the calendar was about to roll over to March. Those were the young guys building their resumes and reputations. At the other end of the spectrum time catches up with every professional athlete, some sooner, some later. But it happens. And there was concern about the performance of goalie Olaf Kolzig . At age 37, Kolzig was the dean of the Capitals, drafted by the club before Crosby’s or Backstrom’s second birthday. After almost ten seasons as the Caps’ number one goaltender, the games (almost 700 regular season and 45 more in the playoffs) and the injuries (knee, ankle, groin) over the years were taking their toll. From the last game of 2007 through February 23rd, Kolzig appeared in 17 games and recorded a worrisome 2.92 goals against average and a .891 save percentage. As difficult as it was to contemplate it, goaltending seemed to be the weak link in the Capitals’ chain of success. source:

A Tale of Two Phenoms — Part III – Yahoo Sports

St. Louis signed Paul Stastny to a $28 million, four-year contract in free agency. After Stastny left Colorado, the Avalanche inked Iginla to a $16 million, three-year deal on July 1. Dallas traded for Jason Spezza and signed Ales Hemsky to a three-year contract. While Stastny had spent his entire career with Colorado, Iginla joins his fourth team since 2012. Adjusting to a new line is nothing new for the 37-year-old right wing at this point. ”The more time you get together, you get used to each other’s tendencies,” he said. ”We all have certain things we like to do, our first instincts. A lot of people’s are slightly different. The more you play together, the more you can build on it. ”Sometimes, you can be a little bit ahead of the game if you’re already thinking the same way.” Iginla and Duchene are learning more about each other’s style by holding a shooting competition in practice. source:–nhl.html


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