Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hawks & Leafs in Cap Move?

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To TorontoPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Patrick SharpForward27226193$3.9 million
Brent SopelDefenseman3221132$2.3 million
To ChicagoPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Matt StajanForward26215151$1.75 million
Jiri TlustyForward213001$855,000
Garnet ExelbyDefenseman2811001$1.4 million

With the Blackhawks desperately seeking out ways to trim down their projected salary cap number for the 2011 season, in order to re-sign Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith to long-term deals, the Maple Leafs might be the team to help solve their problems, but its going to cost the Blackhawks dearly... or so we are to believe. Another rumour from the mill today saw Patrick Sharp and Brent Sopel heading North to Toronto for Matt Stajan, Jiri Tlusty and Garnet Exelby, which not only is a big player swap, there is plenty of cap room heading to Canada in return for two veteran players with large contracts extending past this season.

The surface of this deal is straight cap dump, but on a skill level, this is no real improvement to the Blackhawks, who are going after a championship this year, rather it's a big turn in the opposite direcetion. A feeling most people/fans would honestly believe. The real key to that argument would be Patrick Sharp, who has proven that he is far more valuable as a two-way player than his counterpart in the deal, Matt Stajan.

Despite clearing off $6.2 million of cap space off the books for the 2011 season, the Blackhawks likely won't want to sacrifice a season where they can actually win it all, unless they are somewhat confident that Stajan and Exelby can fill the void left behind by Sharp and Sopel. Exelby and Sopel are somewhat of a wash, skill & scoring-wise, so that isn't too bad. I really don't see Tlusty being the guy to bridge the gap between Stajan and Sharp, but the system in Chicago could be way more beneficial for both players... who is to say?

Sharp is just too valuable and it's the point that keeps coming back around to predict that this deal won't go down. Burke has been able to twist some arms off before, so you just never know for sure.

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