From the Chicago Tribune's Chris Kuc:
As the Stanley Cup was being hoisted just a few feet away after the Blackhawks' victory over the Lightning in Game 6, one player stood on the ice at the United Center and matter-of-factly said, "all hell is going to break loose soon."
He wasn't referring to the raucous celebration that has been ongoing since the Hawks won their third Cup in six seasons, but the roster turnover that is looming because of salary-cap issues.
The Hawks have been through this before, jettisoning half the roster after winning their first Cup in 49 years in 2010. The damage wasn't as significant after the 2013 championship, but change is inevitable and it doesn't take a math whiz to understand why.
Including three goaltenders, one of whom won't be on the opening-night roster — most likely Antti Raanta — and excluding restricted free agents Brandon Saad and Marcus Kruger, the Hawks have 15 players signed for next season with cap hits totaling roughly $65 million. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said recently that the cap for next season, expected to be announced this week, will come in around $71 million.
"I guess everyone wants to know if it's a good number or a bad number," Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "Obviously, if it were $80 million it would be easier for us. If it's going to be $70 (million) or 71, whatever it will be, we'll make it work. If it comes in at 69.5 or 71.5, that could be the difference between what we decide to do."
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