The Chicago Blackhawks seem to have put their offseason wheeling and dealing on hold for the time being.
Following a trade with the Arizona Coyotes last week that shipped out Marian Hossa's contract and brought back forward Marcus Kruger, general manager Stan Bowman admitted Tuesday that the team is likely to wait until closer to training camp before potentially making more moves.
"That's probably the way it's going to be," Bowman said, according to NHL.com's Tracey Myers. "Each year teams have surprises, good and bad, in camp. I think our team's the same way. You have ideas on how your lines are going to look or how your players are going to be ready. There'll be some adjustments around the League, but probably not a lot of activity. If you look back the last couple of seasons, late July and August are quieter as far as transactions. There's the possibility of moves, but probably closer to training camp is more when changes may happen."
The Blackhawks have $5.49 million in cap space heading into next season, giving them some wiggle room to bring in a player via trade or free agency if they so choose. However, with the potential for players to surprise in camp and challenge for roster spots, Bowman isn't feeling pressure to make a move for the sake of it.
"Having cap space is an asset in and of itself, so things will come along maybe in the summer, maybe in the beginning part of the (season) where teams have a couple players that make their team unexpectedly that makes some other players more expendable," Bowman said.
"In the past, we probably haven't really been a good match for those types of situations because we didn't have the cap room at that time. So now we're going to be in the mix for those types of things. Whether we use it right away or whether we use it during the season, I think the nice thing is we have the flexibility now going into the coming years where we're going to need cap room, all that and more, to sign the young players."
Chicago is coming off its worst finish (76 points) in a full 82-game season since 2006-07, when the club finished with just 31 wins.