The Chicago Blackhawks came into the offseason needing to make a trade to clear salary cap space, and they did just that on Saturday, sending defenseman Nick Leddy to the New York Islanders.
The news was first reported by Newsday and a source later confirmed the trade with the Chicago Sun-Times.
Leddy, who has one year left on a deal that pays him $2.7 million annually, ended up as the odd man out on the Hawks blue line. Johnny Oduya and Michal Rozsival were also on the block, but the young Leddy best combined cap relief and quality return for Chicago.
The Blackhawks were forced to make some tough roster choices this preseason after the NHL salary rose less than initially expected.
The team had to shed $2.2 million in salary, which they did by t
Leddys offensive abilities on the blue line will be tough to replace, but several prospects could benefit from his departure.
Trevor van Riemsdyk could make the final roster for the Hawks, playing in a platoon with Rozsival and David Rundblad.
Klas Dahlbeck could also figure in the mix soon, but he was also sent down to Rockford Saturday, so he'd more likely be insurance in case of an injury.
At any rate, the Hawks' depth of proven NHL players does take a hit with this trade, and it will put more pressure on the teams top two pairings.