Both players carry a $2.25 million salary cap hit, according to CapFriendly. Manning signed a two-year contract in July, while Rutta re-signed with Chicago on a one-year deal after joining the organization as a free agent out of the Czech Republic before the 2017-18 season.
Powers cites a source that says the Blackhawks “would be willing to accept anything” to get either one of the 28 year olds off the books. Chicago currently has $4.98 million in cap space.
The left-handed blue liner Manning has one goal, two assists and a 47.67 Corsi percentage in 24 games this season. Rutta, a right-handed defenseman, has produced more offensively with two goals, four assists and a 49.74 Corsi mark in 22 contests during his second campaign in Chicago. Both players have seen time in a third defensive pairing role.
Moving either player will free up a roster spot for Connor Murphy, who is expected to return soon from having back surgery in September. Murphy traveled with the team this week during its two-game road trip out west and has been cleared for contact. He scored two goals with 12 assists in 76 games in his first season for Chicago during the 2017-18 campaign.
When Murphy returns the Blackhawks will have a surplus of defensemen even with Brandon Davidson recovering from right knee surgery.
Here’s how Chicago’s defensive lineup could look like:
Duncan Keith — Henri Jokiharju
Erik Gustafsson — Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling — Connor Murphy