SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman reiterated Thursday he’s confident the Blackhawks will get under the salary cap before the start of the regular season.
The Blackhawks are around $1.3 million over the $69 million cap and would have to shed more cap payroll if they wanted to include Teuvo Teravainen or any of their other prospects on the NHL roster.
Bowman believed the Blackhawks would be able to locate a trade partner in the coming weeks.
“I think leading into training camp most guys want to get going,” Bowman said Thursday before the Blackhawks open training camp at Notre Dame. “Like I said, everyone sort of has a plan that they like how things go. Then a week from now, your plan might have to be changed because players you expected to do something [don’t do something.]
“A lot of teams have some high hopes for some of the young players and then you get them in games and you realize, well, they’re a young player, they’re not going to be able to do what I thought they might. It’s a bit of a waiting game at this point. We’ve had a lot of discussions over the last weeks or months, but until guys get on the ice not a lot changes from July until now. I think we’ll see that play itself out over the next couple weeks here.”
A number of Blackhawks have been rumored to be on the trading block, but most of it has been pure speculation. Agents for Nick Leddy, Johnny Oduya and Patrick Sharp dismissed trade rumors during the offseason.
Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith acknowledged he and his teammates understand a player or two on their current roster won’t be with the team once the season starts Oct. 9.
“Sure I think about it,” Keith said. “It's not something that's a topic of conversation every day among us players. We all kind of know the business. Obviously management has to make some decisions, and we have a lot of trust and faith in them that they're going to do what they have to do. As players we just focus on being fit and ready to play and skating out there tomorrow to start training camp. Trades are always part of the game, part of the business and that's never going to end.”
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t concerned that losing players would affect his lineup for the season.
“Over the last few years, we’ve always had to address [that,] make decisions based on the economics of the game,” Quenneville said. “Our team’s pretty deep. Our core is going to be in place and the surrounding players are pretty good players as well. We may lose a good friend or a good teammate. That’s part of our business. We’ve adapted well in the past. That’s the nature of the business and today’s game, and Stan’s done a good job of working through the salary-cap issues. The timing may not be great for the individual. At the same time, we’re still excited about starting and looking forward to getting off to a good start.”
Bowman said management’s focus would be on their own players in the coming days and then he’ll decide the course of action to get under the salary cap.
“I wouldn’t characterize it as easy or difficult; it is what it is,” Bowman said of making trades at this time of year. “We’re looking at it, more so, as watching at our guys on the ice. We have some expectations of how some players will look at together. But we see it every year, sometimes you expect something all summer and you get on the ice and it doesn’t work the way you want.
“We have to see how it plays out, how guys mesh together, and that will dictate it. A lot of things change in this game. You do your best to plan and predict, but once you start playing games and other teams have needs, it’s a very fluid process. We’re going to be flexible and be ready to go.”