Blackhawks Salary Cap in 2011-12: An Updated Perspective

With news that Brent Seabrook’s deal is done, now is an appropriate time to look at the Blackhawks’ cap situation moving forward.

Back in mid-January, we looked at some potential numbers for the Hawks next year. However, now that we have a locked-in number for Seabrook, we can add him to the list of existing contracts.

Here are the contracts already written for next season:

Brian Campbell  $   7.143
Jonathan Toews  $    6.300
Patrick Kane  $    6.300
Brent Seabrook  $    5.800
Duncan Keith  $    5.539
Marian Hossa  $    5.275
Patrick Sharp  $    3.900
Niklas Hjalmarsson  $    3.500
Dave Bolland  $    3.375
Nick Leddy  $    1.117
Bryan Bickell  $    0.542
John Scott  $    0.513
Total  $  49.304

The current salary cap in the NHL is $59.4M, and expecations are that the cap could go up by as much as $4M next year. To be safe, we’ll use a cap of $62M for next season, a fairly conservative increase of $2.6M.

As we discussed back in January,  Jeremy Morin and Marcus Krüger should both factor into the mix next year. Let’s now add their deals to the list above.

Jeremy Morin $   0.917
Marcus Krüger  $   0.900
Total  $   1.817

That is 13 players under roster totalling $51.121M. Using our conservative baseline figure of $62M for next year’s cap, there is roughly $10.8M left to spend filling the 2011-12 roster.

What do we have so far?

  • Forwards
  • Patrick Sharp – Jonathan Toews – Patrick Kane
  • Bryan Bickell – Dave Bolland – Marian Hossa
  • Jeremy Morin – Marcus Krüger – ___________
  • TBD-TBD-TBD (John Scott)

That isn’t a terrible group, with the top six intact from this year.  Morin has seen action in the NHL, and GM Stan Bowman has expressed strong hopes for Krüger.

  • Defensemen
  • Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook
  • Brian Campbell – Niklas Hjalmarsson
  • Nick Leddy – _____________

This is something Hawks fans can be truly excited about. The Blackhawks have their top five defensemen locked up through next year, and with Nick Leddy maturing with each game the options for Bowman will be open.

What about the restricted free agents on the current roster? Here are a few players the Blackhawks will have to negotiate with:

  • Troy Brouwer
  • Corey Crawford
  • Jake Dowell
  • Michael Frolik
  • Viktor Stalberg
  • Alexander Salak

What could these players cost the Blackhawks? Here are a few conservative estimates:

Troy Brouwer  $  2.500
Corey Crawford  $    2.000
Michael Frolik  $    1.250
Jake Dowell  $    0.750
Alexander Salak  $    1.000
Total  $    7.500

If we add these restricted free agent deals to the roster listed above, the Hawks would be tight against the cap again next year. Indeed, the money being wasted on John Scott may cost the Hawks the ability to keep seven defensemen on the roster next year.

However, if we add these five restricted free agents to the 14 extisting contracts the Blackhawks have for next year, there are 19 players that should be in the NHL next year totalling roughly $58.62M.

That leaves a little more than $3.3M to add another defenseman to the team.

Moral of the story: the Blackhawks have spent a lot of money on a very good, championship-caliber core group of players. Now they need to get creative and fill out a roster with quality depth.

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