Stan Bowman didn’t have to answer any more questions regarding Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane’s extensions, thanks to those getting done more than a week ago.
One big question still looms, however, for the Blackhawks’ general manager: How are you getting below the salary cap?
OK, we all pretty much know how that’s going to happen; someone has to go. It’s more just a matter of when. On Friday, Bowman said if it takes until training camp, right before the season begins, so be it.
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Stop us if you’ve read this before: the Blackhawks are $2-plus million over the $69-million salary cap for this season, and they have to get below the cap by the regular season’s start. Things have been quiet for most NHL teams lately; there have been some signings, but not much in terms of trades. Still, there’s plenty of time remaining, and Bowman said it could very well come down to training-camp time.
“A lot of things change between now and (October.) You have to display some patience,” Bowman said prior to the Blackhawks’ convention opening ceremonies. “A lot of things happen once camps open, both for us and for other teams, in terms of players maybe you expect to meet expectations don’t quite do it and certain teams are looking around trying to find players. I always think you’re always in a good position when you have a lot of established players. I think that’s better than the other way around.”
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Indeed, the Blackhawks’ core is firmly intact. Even if one or two pieces are traded, they’ve still got a strong, deep team. Still, there’s no doubt changes are coming. If Bowman has to wait a little longer to make them, so be it.
“There are a few points in the season when there are more trades made. Certainly around the draft and around the deadline are the two biggest, but there are other movements,” Bowman said. “Everyone likes their team right now but once training camp rolls around and you start playing some exhibition games and you realize, maybe, that the way you drew it up in June and July isn’t playing out the way you hoped. I’m not saying we’re waiting until training camp but that is another time period when things do change more often.”