Desperately trying to clear salary cap space and bolster their blue line depth, the Chicago Blackhawks made a trade on Friday afternoon as they sent forwards Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom to the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Blackhawks also sent a third round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft to the Hurricanes in the deal. In exchange, the Hawks will receive defensemen Dennis Robertson and Jake Massie, as well as a fifth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Versteeg, whom the Blackhawks acquired in a 2013 trade with the Florida Panthers, scored 14 goals and dished out 20 assists for the team in the 2014-15 season. Nordstrom notched three assists for the Blackhawks in 38 games a season ago.
Robertson spent last season with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers after a four-year college career at Brown, scoring three goals and dishing out 14 assists in 57 games. Massie was a fifth round pick of the Hurricanes in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, scoring five goals and notching 15 assists in 34 games at the high school level in his senior season.
The Blackhawks have been looking to clear salary cap space before the start of the regular season, as they were only $500,000 below the salary cap ceiling after several offseason trades and signings.
With Versteeg and Nordstrom out of the fold, the Hawks have approximately $2.7 million in space, which they will likely use to re-sign restricted free agent Marcus Kruger, who is still without a contract just one week before training camp.