Blackhawks-Canucks Game 4: More At Stake Than A Series

When the Blackhawks take the ice at the United Center tonight, they have to win to play another game this year.

But for a big part of the roster, there is more on the line than one game.

The following players on the Blackhawks roster will be unemployed – as an unrestricted free agent – once the Hawks’ season ends:

  • Tomas Kopecky
  • Fernando Pisani
  • Ryan Johnson
  • Jordan Hendry
  • Marty Turco

While it’s unlikely that the Blackhawks would bring any of those free agents back, the list of restricted free agents brings considerably more intrigue to the coming summmer:

  • Corey Crawford
  • Troy Brouwer
  • Michael Frolik
  • Viktor Stalberg
  • Jake Dowell
  • Chris Campoli

These are just the players on the NHL roster. There are some players that have been in Rockford or overseas that will be restricted as well. Alexander Salak and Brian Connelly stand out as a couple players that might be a role player or add potential bench depth at the NHL level next year, but who will be on Stan Bowman’s list of negotiations for the summer because they’re restricted free agents.

But for Brouwer, Frolik, Dowell, Stalberg and Campoli, their audition time in Chicago has ended. With a good group of prospects matriculating to the NHL level at some point in the not-too-distant-future, these guys will be trying to make enough of an impression for Bowman to bring them back.

Thankfully, the salary cap should be going up significantly next year.

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7 Responses to Blackhawks-Canucks Game 4: More At Stake Than A Series

  1. Kenny says:

    Hopefully, as stated above, the more at stake are the bullseyes all of the Canucks should have, not only on the back and sides of their heads, but right between their eyes. Not that I’m for blind side hits or cheap shots (Seebs and the rest of the team would agree), however, wouldn’t it be nice to see a couple shoulder drops to the Sedin twins’ heads tonight? Or better yet how about a nice little Big John Scott check on each of them tonight, ironically his elbows are parallel to their heads, that’s a legal check. Hell, let Scott play 20 minutes tonight, might be the last time he’s priviliged enough to wear our sweater, but it sure would be nice to see him do some physical damage, LITERALLY!!! ANYWAYS……..Let’s give them something to think about tonight by not only kicking their ass physically, but let’s put Luongo on his back and accidently kick him in the head a couple times, and put 5 pucks behind him!!! GO HAWKS!!!!!!!

  2. Steve says:

    I hope that we never see John Scott in a Blackhawks uniform again… He is slow, dumb and most importantly, bad at Hockey. On the Replay of the TV broadcast you could hear his teammates yelling at him to Skate when the puck was dumped in and he was standing still lost on the Blue Line. He is an embarrassment.

    Beat the Canucks tonight the same way we did the last 2 years when we ended their seasons… with skill, speed and intensity. I don’t need to see John Scott or anyone else taking cheap penalties tonight, I don’t need to see any fights. I just need to see the Hawks score more goals than the Canucks, and make Bobby Lou cry at least one more time.

  3. ray sreniawski says:

    Ironically enough, Vancouver is in a similar position the Hawks were in last year: Cup or bust. Eleven* skaters will become RFA’s UFA’s this offseason. If Vancouver wins the cup, they will more than likely be faced with similar bonuses for the Sedin twins/Keslar/Luongo.

    Players that will become RFAs:
    Maxim Lapierre
    Jannik Hansen
    Jeff Tambellini

    UFAs (this is were things become very interesting):
    Chris Higgins
    Raffi Torres
    Jeff Tambellini
    Tanner Glass
    Kevin Bieksa
    Christian Ehrhoff
    Sami Salo

    Also note that Vancouver was able to afford to bring in role players like Torres this year because Salo was on long-term IR, creating a cap cushion. All told, the Canucks operated with approximately $7.1mil more cap space than the Hawks. If the Canucks do win the cup, or make a deep playoff push, key players will deserve a pay raise.

    This creates a unique opportunity for the Hawks, as the $4mil in 2010 playoff bonuses will be a thing of the past, and the cap is slated to increase to approx. 6.2mil. An extra 6.2 million worth of cap allowance means the Hawks can target some legitimate 3rd and 4th liners.

    *Minor league contracts for Lee Sweatt how has only played a handful of games

  4. Titus says:

    Really Kenny? A call to violence?

    This is hockey, not ultimate fighting. For the record, I’m a Canucks fan and I neither condone nor enjoy seeing someone take a blow to the head like that. I would like to have seen the NHL send a message that they are serious about this kind of hit but, alas, they did not. Don’t act like Vancouverites back this kind of reckless hit. We don’t.

    In the meantime, I hope Brent is back soon because he’s a joy to watch (and a local boy). If you were a hockey fan, and not a troglodyte, you might be looking forward to seeing the world-class Sedins play instead of calling for their heads.

    Enjoy the off season, meathead.

  5. Tuke says:

    Just curious where Ray heard that the cap was going up 6.2 mil next year? That seems to be a stretch but I may be mistaken. Last I heard it was expected to increase around 3 mil, but like I said, I may be mistaken

  6. Tab Bamford says:

    The cap is NOT slated to increase by $6.2M. That figure is laughable. My guess is the most it would go up is $4M next year

  7. ray sreniawski says:

    Sorry, the 6.2mil was a typo. The salary cap was projected to increase approximately 2.2mil before the NBC/Versus deal was announced, according to capgeek.com. I meant to say that the $2.2mil increase in the salary cap, along with the $4mil in Toews/Kane bonuses coming off the books, would create an extra $6.2 million in cap space for the Hawks to work with.

    Sorry about the misinformation/typo.

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