The Blackhawks don't have to shed half their roster like 2010. However, since the cap has been set at $71.4m the Hawks have 14 members already under contract, and need to sign 8-9 more to get a roster at 22-23 members.
Under Contract: Forwards; Restricted Free Agents: UFA's
Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Shaw, Saad, Kruger, Desjardins,
Nordstrom, Bickell, Teravainen, Carcillo, Richards,
Under Contract: Defensemen;
Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Rozsival, Rundblad,
van Riemsdyk Timonen(retired), Oduya
Under Contract: Goalies;
Crawford, Darling Raanta
PLAYERS IN THE SYSTEM TO COMPETE FOR A ROSTER POSITION:
Gustav Forsling - D Phillip Danault - F Kyle Baun - F
Stephen Johns - D Dennis Rasmussen - F Mark McNeill - F
Viktor Svedberg - D Ryan Hartman - F Garret Ross - F
Michael Paliotta - D Artemi Panarin - F Matt Carey - F
Erik Gustafsson - D Fredrik Olofsson - F Tanner Kero- F
Ville Pokka - D Nick Schmaltz - F Vinny Hinostroza - F
Carl Dahlstrom - D John Hayden - F
**Nordstrom is on a 2 way contract.
NAMES THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN FLOATING ABOUT FOR TRADE TALKS
1) PATRICK SHARP: reports from CSNCHICAGO.COM have reported that a trade is "imminent" by this week. The reports have stated that Patrick Sharp was already called into Stan Bowman's office to give a list of 10 teams that he'd be interested in going to if a trade is considered.
2) BRYAN BICKELL: His name has been floating about because of his $4m contract and that he hasn't lived up to that contract.
3) COREY CRAWFORD: His name has been floating about whether unloading his $6m per year contract would not only give the Hawks the room they need, but is it a good idea to consider Crawford as a viable option.
4) KRIS VERSTEEG: His name and his contract have been considered. I think unloading Versteeg would be a bad idea. Hawks saw what this guy was like when he was healthy and what he did during the finals. Every now and then he needs a "swift kick in the ass" to get him going, but he is definitely worth the money they got him for.
5) BRENT SEABROOK: Believe it or not his name has been floating as well. The way the Hawks were in the finals and having only 4 starting defensemen, unloading Seabrook would be stupid. No other word to use than that.....just "stupid".
Hawks have made no secret they have EVERY intention in re-signing Brandon Saad and Marcus Kruger, as well. Expect the Hawks to make every effort in re-signing Andrew Desjardins, as well.
That being said, with only $7m left on their cap space, the Hawks have to unload 2 guys on that list in order to sign Saad and Kruger, Desjardins and re-sign Richards (who has made it known that he wishes to return).
I expect to see 3 names from that list of prospects on the Hawks. Artemi Panarin has a "make it or break it" deal. He either makes the big squad or he returns to Russia.
Erik Gustafsson is another play I predict will make the Hawks roster in September, as well.
The player I think could be a "steal" would be Ville Pokka from Finland.
Stan Bowman really has given David Rundblad every opportunity to show that he can play at the NHL level. Hawks fans "are not impressed" and I don't think the Hawks are either. However, he's a cheap 6th or 7th defensemen option if you can't find a decent replacement.
I like Ryan Hartman and Phillip Danault to give the Hawks a headache in deciding if they should make the roster as well. Both play the Hawks 2 way style of hockey.
Mark McNeill has never even had a "sniff" at the NHL level and he could be someone the Hawks would consider moving in a trade because he is close to NHL ready, but for some reason, the Hawks are not impressed with him. (I am not certain why that is either).
Dark Horses to make the team: Baun, (Rasmussen, Olofsson (because both are Swedes and the Hawks love their Swedes)), Ross, Oduya (Hawks need him, but his salary is just too high).