Blackhawks not distracted by trade rumors

CHICAGO -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Thursday that his players haven't shown any signs of being distracted by trade rumors with the team still having to get under the salary cap before the regular season begins.

"I'm not sure exactly who you're talking about because there's not a lot of discussions from our standpoint, but I think everybody's looked fine," Quenneville said at the United Center on Thursday. "Our group that's here, I think everybody is in great shape. Everybody looks like their game's fine."

The Blackhawks must reduce their salary cap by at least $1.3 million to be cap compliant, according to figures on capgeek.com. They would have to shed about $2.2 million if they wanted to include any of their top prospects, including Teuvo Teravainen, on the NHL roster.

Blackhawks defensemen Nick Leddy and Johnny Oduya have often been included in trade rumors because of their cap hits and the organization's defenseman depth. Oduya has a cap hit of $3.375 million this season, and Leddy's is $2.7 million.

Leddy and Oduya said Thursday they have been ignoring trade rumors and focusing on preparing for the season.

"It's obviously something you guys like to talk about and spin your head around and whatever different possibilities or not," said Oduya, who has been traded twice in his NHL career. "But I think for us and for me, too, I can only focus on what I'm doing. I think it's completely out of my hands what's going to happen or not. I realize this is the nature of the game and the business we're in. I've been in situations like this before. For me, trying to focus on what I'm doing. Today is a game, so that's what I'm focusing on today."

Leddy had the same mentality.

"It's not something I can control. It's out of my control," said Leddy, who has been traded once. "For me, what I need to focus on is getting better every day and just focus on the team."

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said Sept. 18 that he expected to have more conversations with teams about possible trades as the preseason progressed.

"I think leading into training camp most guys want to get going," Bowman said. "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].

"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."

The Blackhawks are open to a number of penalties under the league's collective bargaining agreement if they don't get under the cap. The NHL can impose fines, take draft picks away and force them to forfeit games.