The Chicago Blackhawks have not shied away from big money free agents this season, and as a result currently have a bit of an odd roster. The team should be a favorite to make the playoffs next season, but they still need to clean up their roster a bit.
First the did sign former Sabre Brian Campbell. At $7.1 million per year for the next eight years, Chicago entered a contract that was way high on the money side. As good as Campbell is, there is no way to justify spending that much money on just him. The upside for Chicago is that Campbell does fill an actual need. Instead of this being the Blackhawks overpaying just to get someone, they are getting the offensive defenseman that there team needed last season.
Of course they could still end up regretting the decision. The team is currently just shy of being two million over the cap at $58.608 million. Furthermore they still have to resign a few support players such as Buffalo native Kevyn Adams.
Part of their salary cap problems come from the fact that they currently have $12.375 million of cap space tied up in their goaltenders next season. Nikolai Khabibulin who has been Chicago's goalie for awhile now still has one year left in his contract. Meanwhile the team has signed unrestricted free agent Cristobal Huet to a four year deal. Huet had a good year last season playing with both Montreal, and Washington. He is a solid number one goaltender, but Chicago now clearly has a problem, and needs to find a place to move the Bulin-wall to.
Chicago will be a real good team this year, but will have to sign lots of important free agents over the next two seasons with little cap room to work with.