The Chicago Blackhawks may be trying to figure out what to do with Marian Hossa’s contract, but they’re not trading it to the cash-strapped Arizona Coyotes anytime soon, according to AZ Sports’ Craig Morgan.
Not sure where Blackhawks F Marian Hossa's contract will end up, if anywhere, but it appears it won't be in Arizona.— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) June 23, 2017
GM John Chayka more or less confirmed Morgan’s report during a press conference Friday to discuss other trades.
Chayka reiterates that Coyotes aren't looking to take on Hossa contract— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 23, 2017
The news comes after the Blackhawks shook up their roster in a big way Friday by trading Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Coyotes and Artemi Panarin to the Blue Jackets, bringing back a haul including Brandon Saad, Connor Murphy, Anton Forsberg, and Laurent Dauphin.
Hossa, who currently has four years remaining on his deal with the Blackhawks, announced this week that he’s sitting out the 2017-18 season due to a skin condition affected by his hockey equipment.
That means the Blackhawks need to figure out what to do with Hossa’s contract, which could mean trading it or placing him on long-term injured reserve. Retirement isn’t an option for both sides right now because it would leave the Blackhawks with a massive salary cap recapture penalty. Hossa also has a $1 million salary that, even after earning millions during his career, represents a lot a money.
So the Blackhawks may attempt to trade Hossa, whose low salaries ($1 million annually with $5.275 million cap hits through 2020-21) could appeal to a team looking to reach the salary floor without paying out much money. The Coyotes were the most logical candidate for that, however, and there may not be another team so desperate to add salary cap without big financial commitments.
In the end, the Blackhawks may just need to place Hossa on LTIR, which would allow them to go over the $75 million salary cap. That’s not ideal, though, because placing him on LTIR in training camp would limit the team’s ability to accrue cap space during the season. If you want to place him on LTIR until the season starts, you’re unable to use that $5 million in cap space until October, when options wouldn’t exactly be plentiful.
So a trade remains a possibility, but it would require a team like the Coyotes to be interested. If they’re out, the odds of a Hossa trade go down significantly.