Entering the 2022-23 NHL season, there are a number of contenders and a number of teams looking to the future. For the Chicago Blackhawks, the latter is the applicable label for this team entering training camp. On Wednesday, General Manager Kyle Davidson, along with Head Coach Luke Richardson, spoke to the media before camp opens on Wednesday. When speaking to the media, Davidson addressed the team's cap space entering the season.
When discussing the team's cap space, Davidson said he is willing to weaponize that cap space if a contract dump presents itself. Every NHL team has a contract they'd like to dump. Year in and year out, teams are looking to free up cap space for sake of competing now. However, in the Blackhawks case, they could ask for a draft pick to take on a bad contract. The more picks Davidson has to play with, the more likely they'll hit on meaningful contributors for the future.
There are a number of teams above the salary cap. However, many of those team have Long-Term Injured Reserve dollars they can offset against that overage. However, there will certainly be one team looking to dump a contract before the season opens in October.
If that is the case, Davidson could accomplish two things. The first, he will likely be able to acquire some draft capital for the future. The second, he can add a competent body to play in the lineup with plenty of unknowns on the roster.
There is a lot that will occur before the Blackhawks open their season on October 12. Among those things may certainly be a cap dump trade that benefits the Blackhawks' draft pick stash. If that is the case, Davidson is continuing to give themselves a chance to turn the franchise around and return to relevance sooner rather than later.