The Chicago Blackhawks are going to have some work to do to get under the NHL salary cap for next season, and according to a new report, the team now knows just how much they’ll have to trim from their roster.
According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, NHL teams have been informed that the salary cap ceiling for the 2017-18 season will be $75 million. That represents a $2 million increase from last season, but it still won’t be enough to get the Blackhawks under the cap by itself.
According to the good folks at CapFriendly, the Blackhawks are the only NHL team that is currently over that salary cap limit, exceeding it by approximately $2.5 million.
That money could be made up if Marcus Kruger is traded or selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL Expansion Draft, but the Blackhawks still have a few restricted free agents to sign, so it’s unlikely that just losing Kruger would be enough to get under the cap.
The week leading up to the NHL Entry Draft next weekend in Chicago will be full of speculation for the Blackhawks, as they look to get under the salary cap and to revamp a roster that was swept out of the first round of the postseason.
There is a trade freeze in place until the NHL Expansion Draft on Wednesday (although teams can negotiate deals with the Golden Knights during that time), and once the freeze is lifted, the Blackhawks will certainly be one of the more aggressive teams on the market.