The Chicago Blackhawks got closer to putting together their 2015-16 NHL roster Friday by trading Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom to the Carolina Hurricanes and re-signing Marcus Kruger.
Here’s a look at how Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville might assemble his lineup with what he currently has to choose from within the organization:
Left wing -- Marko Dano -- $925,000 cap hit
Quenneville mentioned this offseason the possibility of Dano playing with Marian Hossa. While Dano has played mostly right wing, he said he’s comfortable on the left side as well.
Center -- Jonathan Toews -- $10.5 million
Toews assumes his usual spot in the lineup. He and Hossa mentored Brandon Saad on a line in 2013, and they could have that same effect on Dano this season.
Right wing -- Marian Hossa -- $5.28 million
Hossa also returns to his place on the top line. He and Toews have shared the ice in 5-on-5 play for 2252 minutes over the past four seasons.
Left wing -- Artemi Panarin -- $812,500
Panarin is a natural left wing. He had 26 goals and 36 assists in 54 games in the Kontinental Hockey League last season. There might be an adjustment period, but expect him to play a large role this season.
Center -- Artem Anisimov -- $3.28 million
The Blackhawks believe they finally have a permanent second-line center in Anisimov.
Right wing -- Patrick Kane -- $10.5 million
There’s obviously some uncertainty regarding Kane’s status for this season, but he’ll be in this spot if he’s playing. If not, Teuvo Teravainen could be positioned here.
Left wing -- Bryan Bickell -- $4 million
Bickell will land on the left side of the third line again. He could still be traded at some point down the road.
Center -- Teuvo Teravainen -- $894,167
Quenneville said he’d like to give Teravainen a shot at center. If that doesn’t work, look for Teravainen to move back to the right wing and for Andrew Shaw to return to center.
Right wing -- Viktor Tikhonov -- $1.04 million
Tikhonov had eight goals and 16 assists in 49 games in the KHL last season. He could also move to the fourth line.
Left wing -- Andrew Desjardins -- $800,000
Desjardins stepped up when given an opportunity in the playoffs. His play and cap hit made sense for the Blackhawks to bring him back.
Center -- Marcus Kruger -- $1.5 million
Kruger finally has a contract -- at a very affordable price for the Blackhawks -- and will return to his usual defensive place in the lineup.
Right wing -- Andrew Shaw -- $2 million
Shaw has often had more of an impact on the right wing than at center. The line of Desjardins, Kruger and Shaw was one of the keys to the Stanley Cup run.
Duncan Keith ($5,538,462) -- Brent Seabrook ($5.8 million)
Trevor Daley ($3.3 million) -- Niklas Hjalmarsson ($4.1 million)
Trevor van Riemsdyk ($925,000) -- David Rundblad ($1.05 million)
Quenneville could mix and match the defensemen in a number of ways. It will likely come down to how much trust he has for Van Riemsdyk and Rundblad. Both will have to earn their ice time this season. There is some flexibility. Van Riemsdyk played the left and right side last season, and Hjalmarsson is also able to do the same. Quenneville gave Johnny Oduya and Hjalmarsson more defensive zone faceoff starts than other pairings. It'll be interesting to see how Quenneville handles that this season.
Corey Crawford ($6 million)
Scott Darling ($587,500)
No questions here. Crawford and Darling are the clear No. 1 and No. 2 goaltenders entering the season. Michael Leighton re-signed in the offseason and is the next goaltender on the depth chart.
Final roster players
Ryan Garbutt, forward, $900,000
Erik Gustafsson, defenseman, $667,500
The Blackhawks have $68,830,962 committed to the 20 players previously listed and have another $750,000 in overage bonuses from last season. That leaves them with $1,819,038 in cap space. Quenneville normally likes to carry at least 22 players. Garbutt could fill a forward role. The Blackhawks and Stars are splitting his $1.8 million cap hit. Gustafsson signed with the Blackhawks after spending his career in Sweden. He’ll have to prove himself at training camp, but he could be a cheap seventh defenseman option.
Other potential roster players
Kyle Baun, forward, $925,000
Ryan Hartman, forward, $894,167
Mark McNeill, forward, $863,333
Jeremy Morin, forward, $800,000
Ville Pokka, defenseman, $925,000
Garret Ross, forward, $636,677
Viktor Svedberg, defenseman, $575,000
Corey Tropp, forward, $625,000