Blackhawks Niklas Hjalmarsson Signed To Offer Sheet By San Jose Sharks

July 9th, 2010 2 Comments

The Blackhawks appear set to lose yet another peice of their Stanley Cup winning roster in top four defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson. After having already lost Dustin Byfuglien and Kris Versteeg how much more can they lose?

As reported by Bob McKenzie of TSN, the offer sheet from San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson is a four year $14 million deal. This would be an average cap hit of $3.5 million according to CapGeek.com.

Chicago general manager Stan Bowman now has seven days to match this offer or receive a first and third round draft pick from the San Jose Sharks as compensation since Hjalmarsson is a restricted free agent.

The question is, do the Blackhawks has the cap room necessary to avoid losing Hjalmarsson? Currently the Hawks are sitting with $3,613,410 in cap space for next season and they are yet to sign other restricted free agents such as Jack Skille and Anitti Niemi.

If they added Hjalmarsson at the $3.5 million cap hit that would put them in the position to have only $113,410 in cap space. They would still have Niemi’s possibly $4 million plus contract to add.

It is all but certain that Cristobal Huet will be traded, in the AHL or overseas in the KHL for cap relief. With his hit of $5.625 million removed from their cap they could match the offer for Hjalmarsson and still have $5,738,410 in cap space.

While the first and third round picks are appealing I cannot see Stan Bowman letting a Western Conference rival steal away one of his top four defencemen. In my opinion the $3.5 million cap hit for Hjalmarsson is a fair price for a player of his talents.

We will see in the coming days how Chicago decides to handle this situation. As the saying goes, the ball is now in the Blachawks court.

2 Comments

  1. lee says:

    Somehow they have to fix what has happened to Chicago and other teams in the past once they have won the stanley cup.
    I think the only way is to lower the maximum you can pay a player. If the max was 5 million they would be able to keep most of their players. Once you start paying the kind of money that Kovlachuk wants on a player everything else is sacrificed. I’m a huge Oilers fan and i can see 4 or 5 years from now most of those young star players they have will be demanding huge sums of money that will eventually mean someone has to go.
    As long as you have agents and lawyers telling these players what to do it will always be a mess. I say this because if the players really cared about the game and their teams they would not leave for more money when they already have more than they need.

  2. Mike Burse says:

    Good comment Lee, however the simple solution for NHL GMs is to not give out these higher priced contracts. If no one on the market will pay that kind of money then teams would not have these problems.

    With that being said NHL teams often get themselves into this kind of mess on their own. But they do become stuck between a rock and a hard place when faced with losing a talented player. Or bringing in a player that may help them win a Stanley Cup.

    We are now seeing the joys and sorrows of a cap system. While every team has a much better chance of being competitive, they can also pay dearly for financial mistakes that they were once able to make go away much easier.

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