Blackhawks’ Trevor Daley-Rob Scuderi trade still having an impact

Chicago has over $1 million in cap space tied up this season because of that deal.

Exactly a year ago, the Chicago Blackhawks agreed to send Trevor Daley to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Rob Scuderi. A questionable deal at the time, it looks downright ugly in hindsight as the Blackhawks continue paying for failing to dump Patrick Sharp’s full cap hit in the summer of 2015.

The Blackhawks currently have $1.125 million in retained salary on their books for the 2016-17 season because of Scuderi. The team was forced to retain that money in order to trade him to the Kings for Christian Ehrhoff after making head-scratching deals that somehow turned Sharp into Daley into Scuderi.

That line of deals, which was forced by salary cap issues, constitutes one of the worst set of moves made by GM Stan Bowman since taking over hockey operations a few years ago. It’s hard to speculate about the hypothetical trades of seasons past, but it’s a little sad to realize Chicago has over $1 million in wasted money this season because it couldn’t (or didn’t want to) dump Sharp’s contract.

But even moving past the Sharp deal, the team worsened its problems by selling EXTREMELY low on Daley, who went on to be a key contributor on the Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

When you look at some of the other deals involving veteran defensemen last season, it becomes fair to wonder why the Daley-Scuderi deal was so lopsided. The Blackhawks didn’t need to trade Daley, so there had to be a compelling reason to do so. The Flames managed to get two prospects and a second-round pick for Kris Russell. The Oilers, Red Wings, Devils, and Hurricanes traded Justin Schultz, Jakub Kindl, Eric Gelinas, and John-Michael Liles in respective deals for draft picks. Was Daley really so much less valuable than those guys that the Hawks not only couldn’t get value, but ALSO needed to take on a worthless, overpaid player signed through 2016-17?

That’s what happened, and then the Hawks needed to retain money on Scuderi’s deal through this season in order to get rid of the other roughly $2 million. It seems a little odd that the team didn’t have any opportunities to dump Daley’s salary when so many other defensemen were moved for value.

That $1.125 million tied up in Scuderi ended up having a big impact on the Blackhawks over the offseason, when the team was forced to move on from key names like Andrew Shaw and Teuvo Teravainen. And when you look back, it’s seems like Chicago helped create its own mess a bit with deals like Daley-Scuderi.