SUNRISE, Fla. — The Blackhawks got the salary-cap relief they needed on Wednesday by putting Patrick Kane on long-term injured reserve, freeing up roughly $6 million to spend before Monday’s trade deadline.
But the market is drying up in a hurry.
There was a flurry of action around the NHL on Wednesday, and the Hawks didn’t get in on any of it. Veteran, puck-moving defenseman Andrej Sekera, believed to be one of the Hawks’ prime targets, was dealt from Carolina to the rival Los Angeles Kings for a first-round pick and a junior defenseman prospect. The Hawks are loaded with defensemen in the system, but didn’t pull the trigger.
Also dealt on Wednesday was Toronto winger Daniel Winnik, who was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins for center Zach Sill, a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick. Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets acquired forward Jiri Tlusty from Carolina for a third-round pick and a conditional sixth-round pick.
If the Hawks are going to look for a veteran forward to help fill Kane’s spot on the roster, Winnik and Tlusty fit the bill as decent scorers (Winnik has seven goals, Tlusty has 13) on expiring contracts. The Hawks are believed to be heavily interested in Arizona’s Antoine Vermette. Meanwhile, Buffalo’s Chris Stewart and New Jersey’s Jaromir Jagr are possibilities, as well.
The salary cap is removed in the playoffs, so if Kane were to return at some point in the postseason, he can be activated without shedding any salary.
Florida’s Alex Petrovic will not face any supplemental discipline for his cross-check that resulted in Kane’s injury. The feeling in the department of player safety was that there was minimal contact, and that Kane simply lost his footing while striding, falling awkwardly into the boards. Petrovic was handed a two-minute minor for the cross-check.
“I didn’t see the play but I think it was a dangerous area,” Kris Versteeg said. “They’re just going to have to look at it later on. The refs generally make the right call, so if they saw that it was a penalty and not a major, then you’ve got to believe them because they’re, in their own hearts, they’re making the best play and best call. You’ve got to look at the replay. You never want to see a player like that get hurt, someone who’s so exciting and people pay money to watch. It’s not good for the game and it’s not good for guys like that to be doing that.”
The Hawks recalled Teuvo Teravainen from Rockford in the wake of Kane’s injury, and also sent defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to the IceHogs after activating him from long-term injured reserve.
Teravainen has two goals and two assists in 15 games with the Hawks. He had six goals and 19 assists in 39 games with Rockford. Van Riemsdyk, meanwhile, hasn’t played since suffering a fractured left patella on Nov. 16. He’s likely headed to Rockford to get some games in before rejoining the Hawks.