The first part of our trade value rankings for the Blackhawks rolled out yesterday, and it got me thinking about a specific player. Marian Hossa, that is. While most of the guys on the bottom half of the trade value list are developing young players and aging veterans, Hossa stands out as a cornerstone of the franchise.
As Randy explained and everyone knows pretty damn well at this point, Hossa has an unusual contract, and it's kind of a problem. Because of the nature of recapture penalties written into the current CBA and Hossa's deal with Chicago, his situation with the team has become a somewhat bizarre dichotomy of pleasure and concern.
In other words, boy, we love watching Hossa now, but there isn't a fan in Chicago who isn't worried about what happens when he's 39 or 40, those millions in cap penalties are looming and he's a shell of himself on the ice. This is a genuine problem, even if it's not the kind of thing that will sink the franchise.
This gets me back to my real thought, which is just what would it take to trade Marian Hossa and his contract? Is it even possible?
One thing that's undeniable is the hubbub surrounding the recapture penalties. As NBC Chicago explains here, back from when an amnesty buyout seemed possible, we're talking about massive cap figures that would eat into the Blackhawks' space if Hossa retires before his deal is done. And based on a casual reading of the CBA, trading Hossa wouldn't get Chicago out of the mess.
His talent would make him appealing to others, and the fact that recapture penalties only apply to Chicago wouldn't scare off other teams. In fact, the idea of bringing in Hossa only to have him retire and slap the Hawks with cap penalties is probably intriguing to some GMs. But Stan Bowman remains in control of the situation here, and he's already passed up on chances to buy out Hossa and avoid the issues. The team can always keep Hossa through his declining years and hope to circumvent the cap penalties by placing him on the long-term injured reserve or some other manner of ingenuity. If he's dealt, that leverage is taken out of the team's hands.
So this is a question I wanted to pose to you all, since I'm genuinely having a hard time wrapping my head around the possibilities. Teams would obviously want Hossa, but what would it take for the Blackhawks to actually pull the trigger? Do the looming recapture penalties make any possible trade a fruitless pursuit? Is it possible Bowman gets an offer so overwhelming he pulls the trigger?
Probably not, but let us know in the comments, and we can have a bit of debate on this slow Tuesday morning in early September.