In a very crowded Western Conference playoff race the Chicago Blackhawks are right in the middle of it all. A long winning streak could push them to hosting a home playoff series, but a long losing streak could knock them out all together.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman will be faced with some tough questions as the NHL trade deadline approaches.
Can the Blackhawks take on salary?
Where is the biggest need for improvement?
“You’re an injury away, you’re a loss away, you’re a streak of losses away from putting yourself in a real desperate situation,” Blackhawks analyst Eddie Olczyk said on the Danny Mac Show.
LISTEN: Eddie Olczyk On The Danny Mac Show
With the salary cap constraints just as daunting this year as they were last year, Bowman might be limited in what he can do. Defenseman Nick Leddy has been making frequent trips down to the Rockford IceHogs to give the Blackhawks a little extra breathing room over stretches without games. Sending Leddy to the AHL allows for his salary to come of the Blackhawks’ payroll when he’s playing in Rockford.
“The salary cap is what it is, you don’t have a lot of space,” Olczyk said. “But to secure yourself you’re going to have to, and I’m sure they are, [do] what they feel they need to in order to really give them that legitimate chance to make a push and get in, and get some home ice advantage.”