Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Salary cap chatter spills into Blackhawks fan convention

07/17/2015 at 10:01pm EDT

The Blackhawks are holding their annual fan convention this weekend, and ahead of the event, Hawks GM Stan Bowman spoke with NHL.com's Brian Hedger regarding the state of his capped-out team...

"We've had a lot of discussions," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said Friday at the Hilton Chicago prior to the start of their annual fan convention. "I think we have some ideas of what we're going to do. We've got a couple different scenarios that we are planning on doing and ultimately, which one we'll land on … in time that will come to be.

"There's been a lot of work preparing for this. Nothing's come up and surprised us, and it's only the second week of July. As a result, we're still working on it."

Bowman said bonus overages from last season, which carry over to this season's cap charges, amount to about $750,000. That makes the squeeze even tighter and the possibility of additional trades more likely.

And Joel Quenneville and Jonathan Toews spoke with the Associated Press regarding the Hawks' cap crunch:

"You go back to 2010 we lost a significant part of our team," Quenneville said Friday night. "We were more fortunate in 2013, this year we've seen a few guys ... not just (Patrick Sharp) and (Brandon) Saad who were big parts of our team and played in all situations."

Sharp, a left wing who played 10 seasons in Chicago was traded to Dallas last week for defenceman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt. Although the 33-year-old left wing and his $5.9 salary cap hit were expected to move, Blackhawks players said that didn't make Sharp's departure easier to take.

Bowman had said keeping the 22-year-old Saad, a restricted free agent and budding star, was a priority. But with contract talks at a stalemate on the eve of NHL free agency on June 30, he shipped Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of a seven-player trade rather than potentially lose him with no compensation.

"I think we were all surprised," Quenneville said. "We were talking at the end of the season that he wasn't going to be part of it going forward. He played huge in big games down at the end of the season for us. Not too many players possess the upside that he has."

Defenceman Johnny Oduya, who like Saad also played a key role on the 2013 and last year's Cup-winning squads, signed as a free agent with Dallas earlier this week.

"I think the quality of what those players have meant to our locker room was a lot," Toews said. "Those are three guys were proven winners and have been a huge part of this team for years, so the challenge is we've got our work cut out for us. Especially when you win a championship with those guys and to have it all kind of come crashing down moments after, it's not fun."

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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