Last week’s seven player swap between the Blackhawks and Coyotes was a bittersweet move for Hawks fans. The team not only parted ways with fan favorite and Demi-god, Marian Hossa, but also gave up promising young center Vinnie Hinostroza. The blow was softened a touch by the $5.75 million dollars in cap space the Hawks freed up in return. It’s the first time Stan Bowman has actually had cap flexibility since, well Marian Hossa was signed. It puts the Hawks in position to actually do actually be buyers and there’s been some speculation that they may be trying to trade for Max Pacioretty or Artemi Panarin (be still my heart). So now that they finally have some freedom you would think they would have a plan of what to do with it, right? Especially after after such a down year last season, RIGHT?
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman admitted Tuesday that they had had discussions about moving Hossa’s contract for a year now. But it finally reached a point where they simply needed to get it off their hands, even if it meant giving up Vinnie Hinostroza as a sweetener.
So you’re telling me that they had been discussing dumping Hossa’s contract for over a year and they decide to do it in the middle of July?! I mean it was a head scratcher when it was announced, but now it makes even LESS sense! Way to give yourself a shot at any top level free agent Stan. It’s a bold strategy, to wait a full year then open up cap space after all the best free agents sign elsewhere. I would not have thought of that myself.
Tell me what changed between the end of the season and July 12, besides free agency. It reached a point where they NEEDED to get it off their hands but can you please tell me what that point was? That point wasn’t when you had to trade away half the team last summer? That point wasn’t at some point during the season when it was obvious you weren’t going to make the playoffs? It wasn’t heading into free agency to set yourself to bring in some desperately needed help? Apparently not.
Maybe though that point was the precipice of a big trade. Maybe they were using this trade to setup something bigger.
“We certainly have more options now than we did before. I wouldn’t say we have to do something. Having cap space is an asset in and of itself, so things will come along maybe in the summer or maybe in the beginning part of the year where teams have a couple players that make their team unexpectedly and that makes some other players more expendable.”
Nope, not that either. I guess all that cap space is going to some guy that gets cut during the preseason. Glad we got rid of 24 year old who had 25 points in 50 games for that. There’s no plan to pursue a trade. There’s no pressure to use it right now. Well when your team gives up Tuevo Teravainen, Artemi Panarin, and Vinnie Hinostroza then misses the playoffs by a large margin, I would say there’s some pressure Stan.
So just to sum it up, the Hawks were at a point where they NEEDED to dump Hossa’s salary just in case something MAYBE comes along. But hey, we got Kruger back!