Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times: After Chicago Blackhawks placed defensemen Calvin de Haan and Brent Seabrook on the LTIR, it gives them a projected $12.8 million in salary cap space for the rest of the season.
Their cap hits will be back on the books for next season, but it gives them options for this year if they want.
Short-sighted trades could have them giving up future assets for pending UFAs like Sami Vatanen (Devils) or Mark Borowiecki (Senators).
Ben Pope: If the Blackhawks do try to acquire a rental, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin could be another rental option, but he would be very costly.
Scott Powers of The Athletic: If Brent Seabrook had his way, he’d probably still be playing hockey this week. Seabrook did finally admit that he had some things that were wrong.
“Part of being tough is being stubborn,” a source said. “Finally, he’s doing the right thing.”
The Blackhawks now have four players on the LTIR – Seabrook, de Haan, Andrew Shaw and Drake Caggiula – a combined $16.825 million. The Blackhawks may take their time with the extra available space.
GM Stan Bowman could decide to just play out the season and not use the available space. They will likely wait until the closer to the deadline to decide if they are buyers or sellers.
The Blackhawks could also decide to be aggressive and look to use the newfound cap space immediately. They need to keep in mind if adding future salary that they have some UFAs and RFAs that need re-signing.
It would be smart for them to keep their first-round pick, They don’t have a second-round pick.
Dylan Sikura could use a change of scenery.
Bowman could look to acquire future assets (draft picks and/or prospects) by taking on a bad contract or two from a contender looking for some extra salary cap space.
“They should be looking to bail on the season and get picks,” one source said. “That’s what I would do.”