Find out why the Chicago Blackhawks should bounce back next season, and the latest on Matt Gilroy’s contract status.
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox recently reported the Chicago Blackhawks won’t have to shed salary this summer as they did last summer, with around $51 million committed to next season’s payroll. The salary cap is expected to rise to $62 million, and apart from goalie Cory Crawford have no nettlesome contract issues to sort out this summer, giving them sufficient cap space to bolster their roster. Cox believes the Blackhawks will be a popular destination for free agents, like perhaps another goalie, another center or more size.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not quite as rosy as Cox makes it out to be, as they must decide if they’ll re-sign RFAs like Viktor Stalberg, Michael Frolik, Chris Campoli, Troy Brouwer and of course Crawford, plus UFA Tomas Kopecky. That $51 million is also invested in only 14 players, which won’t give them a lot of cap space to use in this summer’s UFA market, at least not in signing any significant free agent talent. The Blackhawks will be a better team next season and will undoubtedly improve their depth, but I’ll be very surprised if they’re amongst the big spenders this summer.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently reported Rangers defenseman Matt Gilroy is eligible to become a restricted free agent on July 1st and it would cost the Rangers $2.1 million to quality his rights. It’s expected GM Glen Sather will offer Gilroy a multi-year deal well below that number, and if Gilroy declines he’ll be eligible for UFA status.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Brooks points out, the Rangers signed Gilroy as an undrafted free agent, which is why he was earning $1.75 million this season and why it would be so expensive to quality him. If he wants to remain with the Blueshirts however it could mean accepting perhaps around the same money he earned this season.