Yesterday TSN insider Frank Seravalli reporter that the Chicago Blackhawks and Vegas Golden Knights are closing in on a deal that would allow the Knights to draft defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk in the NHL Expansion Draft, so long as they also agree to acquire forward Marcus Kruger in a trade.
On the surface the move seems odd from a Blackhawks perspective. Why would the team willingly part with two roster players and expect little in return? As with most questions in life, the answer comes down to money. Marcus Kruger carries a cap hit just north of $3 million and the Hawks are projected to be roughly $4 million OVER the NHL’s salary cap with his and van Riemsdyk’s $825,000 salaries on the books. By moving Kruger’s salary to the Golden Knights for not return, the Hawks provide themselves with some instant cap relief, albeit at the expense of an intriguing young player in van Riemsdyk.
When viewed in this light, the move makes a lot more sense for the Blackhawks. In fact, it’s very similar to the move they were forced to make last offseason when they rid themselves of Bryan Bickell’s contract. Included in the cap dump to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Hawks were forced to include young forward Teuvo Teravainen to facilitate a deal. Prior to that the Hawks had to move out Brandon Saad to clear cap space. It’s an ongoing cycle in Chicago and so long as superstars Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa remain on the roster, fans better get used to it.