How Taylor Hall’s contract impacts the Blackhawks’ salary cap

The Chicago Blackhawks made clear their willingness to accept contracts ahead of the NHL Draft this week, and they did just that when they acquired Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno from the Boston Bruins.

In exchange, the Blackhawks shipped defensemen Alec Regula and Ian Mitchell to the Bruins, who were looking to lose their salaries before free agency began.

Here’s what it all means for the Blackhawks from a financial standpoint.

The Taylor Hall contract

Hall has two years left on his contract, which will come with a $6 million salary cap, according to CapFriendly.

That makes his the highest contract given to a Blackhawks forward so far, with Tyler Johnson’s $5 million contract second only to that. Andreas Athanasiou has also just signed a two-year contract worth $4.25 million per season.

The situation of the ceiling

Currently, the Blackhawks have 10 forwards on their NHL roster according to CapFriendly, but that list will likely include Lukas Reichel ($925,000) and Joey Anderson ($800,000).

If so, that would give the Blackhawks 12 total forwards with a salary cap of just under $25 million.

One would assume that Foligno would be a target to re-sign with the team, as he will be eligible for free agency after being acquired by the Blackhawks as part of the Hall deal.

The Blackhawks have three players eligible for arbitration to make decisions, with Anders Bjork, Philipp Kurashev and Austin Wagner all eligible for qualifying offers.

On the defense side, the Blackhawks have four under contract, namely Seth Jones, Nikita Zaitsev, Connor Murphy and Jarred Tinordi. Wyatt Kaiser would appear to be a legitimate contender for a spot on his entry-level contract roster, adding around $900,000 to that amount.

If that happens, the Blackhawks would only have $20.5 million in contracts for five defensemen.

Finally, they have a goaltender on their NHL roster with Petr Mrazek’s $3.8 million cap, but either Arvid Soderblom or Drew Commesso would appear to have the inside path to a back-up job at around $950,000 in mean.

What does all this add up to

So far in our exercise, we have identified at least 19 players who would be on the Blackhawks roster as it is currently constructed. When you add all of their caps, that adds up to about $50.2 million.

The Blackhawks will also carry a $2 million cap for Jake McCabe, who was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. They will also carry $1.35 million in hits for Brett Connolly and Henrik Borgstrom, who were both bought out, and a cap of $1.94 million for defenseman Duncan Keith, who retired before the season. 2022-23 and was subject to a cap recovery penalty. .

Factoring in those, the Blackhawks have a total liability cap of $55.5 million so far for next season.

What they still need

The Blackhawks would have 12 forwards, five defensemen and two goaltenders on their roster with this arrangement, meaning they would need at least one more defenseman to ice an NHL roster.

In all likelihood, the Blackhawks would have an extra forward and an extra defenseman, meaning a total of three additional players would be added to the mix.

The NHL salary cap floor for the 2023-24 season will be $61.7 million, meaning the Blackhawks would need to add at least $6.2 million in salary to reach that threshold.

The Blackhawks could also take extra pay via trade, but can only get a total of three hits withheld. They only have two slots left at the moment.

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