The Flyers because of their own salary cap issues shipped Simon Gagne for a fourth round draft pick and a bleh defenceman (Makes you appreciate the magic Stan Bowman has done this offseason.) This leaves Patrick Sharp as the best scorer out on the market. However, earlier today according to an Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun Times twitter feed, Stan Bowman stated that Sharp is going nowhere. Is this simply posturing on the part of Bowman? I still think the Hawks need to dump some salary to keep Niemi and fill out the roster. The Hawks are a million over the cap limit with seventeen players signed. The Hawks will add at least four more defencemen to fill out their bottom two lines. They will also have to add Corey Crawford's salary after they send Huet down to the AHL.
If you take away the Huet contract, the Hawks will be sitting at $54,851,590 based on the amounts currently posted on Cap Geek. That gives Chicago $4,548,410 to sign Niemi and fill out the rest of the roster. Let’s say the Hawks sign Niemi for $2,000,000 as everyone hopes. That leaves just over $2,500,000 to fill out the remainder of the roster. The league minimum is $500,000. Corey Crawford will be due $800,000 for next season. As everyone can see, something has to give. The Hawks could ship Tomas Kopecky and/or send Marty Reasoner packing again, but how hard will it be to find a trading partner? That brings us back to Patrick Sharp. A decent scoring center who is good defensively will command a premium on the market. With the ability to dump Kopecky and Reasoner to alleviate the cap crunch (replace them with league minimum players), Bowman may sit back and see what offers he may get for Sharp. Obviously, he doesn’t have to settle for what the Flyers received in return for Gagne.