While many remember the post-Stanley Cup purge, the bottom line is that the Chicago Blackhawks still boast enviable depth. In a salary cap age, that comes at a price, which might mean parting with more players this offseason.
CSNChicago.com reports that Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman hopes that a tight situation won’t cost them rising power forward Bryan Bickell.
“We obviously want him to remain with us. We’re going to do our best to do that,” Bowman said. “I think Brian likes it here. He’s made comments that way; he enjoys playing on our team. He’s found a nice role. Certainly the coaches have confidence in him. As a player, that’s something they all talk about; finding the right situation for a player is important. He serves a nice role for us and he’s respected by his teammates. There are a lot of positives for him and we want to bring him back.”
Doing so will be costly, as his strong postseason work will prompt a significant raise from the $542K mark he’s currently making – especially since he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at 27.
It doesn’t help that the Blackhawks have other pressing concerns, such as signing valuable depth defenseman Nick Leddy.
Either way, Bowman insists that the roster won’t get gouged like it did after the last time they made it to the Stanley Cup finals in 2010.
“We’re in a much better place now than we were at that time,” Bowman said. “We had a unique scenario back then when our three best players were getting significant increases at the same time. We don’t have that phenomenon now. Certainly, we have some players whose contracts are up and will get increases. But when you’re going from $900,000 to $6 billion and you have three guys doing that, that’s a really big jump. So we don’t have that.”