Who will the Blackhawks keep? Who will go?
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org April 29, 2011 12:42AM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews didn’t hesitate when asked about the futures of Michael Frolik and Chris Campoli, two trade acquisitions that became part of their success in the regular season and playoffs.
“They were great additions,” Toews said. “They had the skill and just the steadiness that we needed to keep our team going. Obviously, those are two guys we’d love to have back next year.”
But there will be new faces, as always. Coach Joel Quenneville agreed that some added toughness and abrasiveness would help the lineup.
“Whether we address it as personnel as a team, that’s an area I think we’d like to make sure we’re definitely harder to play against,” he said.
The salary cap is expected to increase from $59.4 million to just over $62 million for 2011-12. So with Nick Leddy, Ben Smith and Marcus Kruger most likely with the Hawks next season, general manager Stan Bowman should have about $11 million to fill out his roster with 14 players already locked in.
Here’s a look at the Hawks’ restricted and unrestricted free agents and what the team is expected to do with them:
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
F Troy Brouwer
’10-11 cap hit: $1.025 million
Quick hit: Brouwer led the Hawks in hits and played on all four lines — a versatility the Hawks love.
Future: He’s due a raise and could become trade bait, but a slight salary increase may improve his chances to stick in Chicago.
D Chris Campoli
’10-11 cap hit: $1.4 million
Quick hit: Campoli, a deadline acquisition, bolstered the Hawks blue line, fitting right in.
Future: The Hawks could use his grit and fire. Look for him to get a raise, but to re-join the Hawks.
G Corey Crawford
’10-11 cap hit: $800,000
Quick hit: It should be an outrage the rookie goalie wasn’t a Calder Trophy candidate. He was a star.
Future: He’s not going anywhere. The Hawks want to avoid another Antti Niemi debacle.
F Jake Dowell
’10-11 cap hit: $525,000
Quick hit: Dowell had a strong start, but petered out at the end, becoming a scratch in the playoffs.
Future: He’s a borderline returnee. The Hawks are looking for experience at center and might find a cheap alternative.
F Michael Frolik
’10-11 cap hit: $1.275
Quick hit: Frolik, who was acquired from Florida, upgraded the Hawks’ skill and their depth. He had a good first postseason.
Future: The Hawks will do their best to sign him to a multiyear contract.
F Viktor Stalberg
’10-11 cap hit: $850,000
Quick hit: In his first full NHL season, Stalberg’s speed was noticeable and he became better once he became more physical.
Future: His speed is enticing and the Hawks liked his progress. He should get another crack.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
D Jordan Hendry
10-11 Cap hit: $600,000
Quick hit: Hendry never complained about his varying roles and even excelled at times at forward.
Future: His season-ending knee injury won’t help his cause.
F Ryan Johnson
10-11 Cap hit: $500,000
Quick hit: His signing was a big boost for the Hawks, helping out their depth at center and on the penalty kill.
Future: There’s a good chance the Hawks bring him back if he’s willing to take a similar contract.
F Tomas Kopecky
10-11 Cap hit: $1.2 million
Quick hit: Playing among the top six forwards, Kopecky had a breakout year, setting career highs in goals, assists and points.
Future: He’s due a raise after his production, but the Hawks likely won’t be able to afford to keep in the mix.
F Fernando Pisani
10-11 Cap hit: $500,000
Quick hit: Pisani was a veteran presence for the Hawks and helped out the penalty kill.
Future: The Hawks signed Pisani last summer at a bargain price, but their need for a true center should mean Pisani’s time in Chicago is over.
G Marty Turco
10-11 Cap hit: $1.3 million
Quick hit: Corey Crawford emerged as the Hawks’ No. 1 goalie, relegating the former All-Star to backup duties.
Future: Turco believes he still has something left in the tank, but with Hawks turning to Crawford, he’ll have to show it elsewhere.