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Sport Injuries, salary cap crunch will force Blackhawks to play shorthanded

02:20  03 december  2019
02:20  03 december  2019 Source:   nbcsports.com

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The Blackhawks will enter a new salary - cap world next season when Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews' identical eight-year, million The Blackhawks ’ other key restricted free agent will be Marcus Kruger, an important role player . He signed a two-year, .65 million contract extension after

Salary cap constraints have forced Wild coach Bruce Boudreau to carry one less forward on his bench, opting to Key injuries to forwards Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund also haven't helped the cause. The Wild also do not have the necessary salary cap space to recall a forward from their AHL affiliate.

Times are tough for the Chicago Blackhawks right now.

Zack Smith, Marc Crawford in uniform© Getty

They enter the week having lost five of their past six games and were completely embarrassed by the Colorado Avalanche over the weekend, being outscored by a 12-5 margin in back-to-back losses on Friday and Saturday.

Now they have to play the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Monday night, and will have to do so with a shorthanded roster that will include only 11 forwards due to an unfortunate combination of injuries, an illness, and a salary cap crunch.

It is not uncommon to see teams play with 11 forwards, but it is usually done because they are dressing a seventh defensman.

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More salary cap woes. The Blackhawks have more than million committed to 17 players for next season, according to generalfanager.com. But Shaw isn't the Blackhawks ’ first choice to trade because he is a valuable role player who disrupts the opposition with his prickly playing style.

The forthcoming salary - cap crunch may mean that the Blackhawks and their general manager, Stan Bowman, have to retool, as they did in 2010 after their first Cup. They were eliminated in the first round in each of the next two seasons. “We’ve had some good accomplishments in here and some things to

The Blackhawks do not even have that going for them on Monday.

Here is the situation:

  • Duncan Keith, Andrew Shaw, Dylan Strome, and Drake Caggiula will all miss Monday’s game due to injury.
  • Keith, Strome, and Caggiula were all already sidelined and did not play in Saturday’s ugly 7-3 loss to the Avalanche, while Shaw’s injury (undisclosed) was revealed on Monday morning. The official word from the team is that he is currently being evaluated.
  • Adding to the issues is the fact goalie Robin Lehner (by far their best goalie so far this season) will not be available on Monday due to illness, forcing the team to recall goalie Kevin Lankinen from the American Hockey League. The problem is that move puts the Blackhawks against the salary cap, preventing them from calling up another forward to fill the open spot that all of the other injuries created.

This all paints a very bleak picture for the Blackhawks because it not only illustrates just how tight the team’s salary cap situation is, but it also serves as a reminder that they are spending a ton of money on a team that simply is not very good.

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The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1961. All signs point to the cap ceiling rising to or million next season (from its current .8 million mark), but Jonathan Toews’ .3 million bonus will be tagged on to next season’s sum, eating up much of the additional

The Chicago Blackhawks are going to have some tough decisions to make this offseason because of After their Stanley Cup win in 2010 when they first had to deal with the salary cap crunch they The Blackhawks determined that Hjalmarsson was a more important -- and more difficult player to

After they play the Blues on Monday, they have a few days to get healthy again and get some players back before they have to go on the road for a back-to-back that will take them through Boston and New Jersey.

While this type of shorthanded lineup is extremely uncommon, it is not completely unheard of. During the stretch run of the 2014-15 regular season the Pittsburgh Penguins were facing a similar situation when they were forced to play with only five defensemen in the lineup because of injuries and a salary cap situation that prevented any additional call-ups from the American Hockey League.

Adam Gretz is a writer forPro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line atphtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Dach scores shootout winner, Blackhawks beat Devils 2-1 .
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Kirby Dach was a young man with a plan before his first NHL shootout attempt. The third overall pick in this year's draft roofed a shot in the fifth round to lift the Chicago Blackhawks over the New Jersey Devils 2-1 Friday night. “I had three moves in my head," the 18-year-old said. “Whatever the goalie bites on, I move to that side. I’ve had a couple of shootouts in junior, and it worked there so I just went back to that. It went it. That was nice.

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