When Stan Bowman said the Chicago Blackhawks were under the salary cap and ready for the season with their current roster, some head-scratching began. We all have access to CapGeek, the most wonderful of online hockey resources, and we all saw the same thing: there was no way this team could be under the cap.
Except Bowman, the Hawks' GM, was out there Tuesday telling reporters this:
Bowman on cap: There’s a lot of questions. I don’t know why that is. We’re under the cap & the league has approved it. We’re ready to go.— ESPN Chicago (@ESPNChiHawks) October 7, 2014
How could the Hawks be under the cap when the most reliable resource for salary information on the Internet says otherwise? CapGeek found the answer:
And just like that, Bowman gets the last laugh on us. Although to be honest, I'm not really sure why he couldn't have mentioned at some point, "Hey, we're cap compliant because the 'Yotes are paying part of Rundblad's deal," but alas, it's gotten out anyway.
Here's the quick math on how this works:
- Rundblad is set to make $785,000 this year, but only $573,050 of that is being covered by Chicago
- With their full 23-man roster and the $60,000 overage penalty, the Blackhawks were previously over $47,000 above the cap
- By dropping $211,905 of Rundblad's salary -- the amount Arizona is covering -- the Blackhawks are now technically $164,322 under the salary cap
And that's that, although there's another little thing to note here: if the Hawks were always getting this money from Arizona, then trading Michal Rozsival indeed would've gotten the team under the cap. Knowing that, one has to imagine that the trade market for Rozsival was more or less non-existent for the team to ultimately prefer dealing Nick Leddy. Otherwise, there's another reason to wonder whether the Hawks maximized their resources.