NHL Rumors: Chicago Blackhawks – Limited Cap Space, Buyout Candidates, and Kubalik Comparables
Comparables for Chicago Blackhawks RFA Dominik Kubalik
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Blackhawks will have limited salary cap space to work with again

Ben Pope of Chicago Sun-Times: There is now some uncertainty of what next seasons salary cap ceiling could be. Earlier this month had projections between $84 million and $88.2 million, but now it could stay stagnant at $81.5 or possibly be lower.

The Chicago Blackhawks won’t have a lot of salary cap space to work with if the cap stays the same or is lower. If it remains at $81.5 million, the Blackhawks would have about $8 million in projected space. They have pending free agents in Corey Crawford, Dylan Strome, Dominik Kubalik and Drake Caggiula. They would need to either re-sign or replace depth players in Matthew Highmore and Slater Koekkoek.

The Blackhawks also need to sign a backup goaltender.

Buyout candidates could include Olli Maatta and Zack Smith. Those players would then need to be replaced. Andrew Shaw could be LTIR’d if he’s not deemed healthy enough to play again.

Some comparables for Blackhawks RFA Kubalik

Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago Blackhawks 24-year old rookie Dominik Kubalik hit the 30-goal mark and is a pending restricted free agent. It may not be easy to determine fair value for his next deal.

He’ll be looking for a big raise from his $925,000 salary this past season.

Comparables of recent players coming in after one season could include Andreas Johnsson (four years at a $3.4 million cap hit), Mike Hoffman (four years at $5.2 million), Anders Lee (four years at $3.75 million – a $4.4 million cap hit factoring in inflation), and Tyler Johnson (three years at $3.3 million – $4.2 million with inflation).

Getting Kubalik signed to a three or four-year extension at between $3 and $4 million likely won’t be easy for the Blackhawks.