Corey Crawford has struggled lately, and Ray Emery is only signed to a one-year deal. If the Blackhawks continue having problems between the pipes, what should they do moving forward?
Perhaps they should take a page out of Doug Wilson’s book.
This summer presents a unique opportunity for the Blackhawks to potentially improve their situation while effectively screwing a rival at the same time.
Yes, Chicago is all-too familiar with the concept of an offer sheet. Former Hawks’ defenseman Doug Wilson, the GM in San Jose, threw an offer sheet at Niklas Hjalmarsson after the Blackhawks won the Cup, and the deal was likely more expensive in dollars and years than the Hawks would have preferred giving him at that point.
When Hjalmarsson signed the offer sheet, the Blackhawks had to choose between a young defenseman and the draft pick compensation they would receive from the Sharks.
Obviously, they chose the player over the picks.
This summer, the Vancouver Canucks have a tough decision to make. And the Blackhawks should make it harder on them.
Cory Schneider will be a restricted free agent this summer. He’s proven to be as good as there is in the NHL while backing up Roberto Luongo, but the Canucks face a tough cap situation this summer.
Vancouver has roughly $55M committed to 16 players for next year already, and there are rumors that the cap might not go up next year (some are saying it might actually go down). If we use a baseline of a $64M cap, the Canucks would have $9M to spend on four players just to fill out a 20-man roster.
Chicago could have the financial flexibility to make life nearly impossible for their hated rivals with an offer sheet.
The Blackhawks have under $54M committed to 16 players at the NHL level for next year today, but have less expensive youngsters they can plug in at a number of positions to fill their roster.
If the Hawks offered Schneider a four-year, $18M deal, and he accepted it, the Canucks would likely be forced to let him walk. If Vancouver matched a $4.5M cap number, they would need to clear additional cap space by trading or buying out a veteran.
The Blackhawks could compromise a rival’s roster and potentially improve their own by making a play for Schneider this summer.