CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Blackhawks have unloaded Marian Hossa’s $5.275 million cap hit, and brought back a key contributor from two of their Stanley Cup championship teams in the process, but gave up a young player once considered a key to their future.
The Blackhawks confirmed they traded Hossa, forward Vinnie Hinostroza, defenseman Jordan Oesterle, and a 2019 third-round pick to Arizona on Friday. In exchange, Chicago will get forwards Marcus Kruger, MacKenzie Entwistle, and Jordan Maletta; defenseman Andrew Campbell; and a 2019 fifth round draft pick.
Hossa, 39, helped lead the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cups, but will never play hockey again, due to the side effects of a progressive skin disorder. The Blackhawks placed him on long-term injured reserve before the 2017-18 season, but trading his contract to the Coyotes gives them much more flexibility under the league’s salary cap.
“Marian’s long-term contributions to the club will never be forgotten,” the Blackhawks said in a statement. “His performance as a player was always appreciated, but, it is his special qualities as a teammate, a leader and a person, that will more than anything leave its mark on all of us who have come to love and respect the very humble way he goes about everything he does. He has shown us all the impact we can have on others if we conduct ourselves with character, integrity and utmost respect for all we come in contact with.
“We have had the pleasure of watching him hoist three Stanley Cups with our team and he will forever be connected to the Blackhawks. On behalf of the entire organization, we would like to thank Marian—a world-class player—for all he has done for the Chicago Blackhawks.”
In Kruger, 28, the Blackhawks get back a key contributor to the 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup teams. A defensive specialist, Kruger was typically one of the team’s most reliable players on the penalty kill.
While the loss of the 24-year-old Hinostroza is a bit of a blow to the team’s youth movement, after a breakout season that saw him spending a great deal of time among the Blackhawks’ top six forwards, Chicago does get two promising young prospects back in Entwistle and Maletta. General manager Stan Bowman repeatedly had called Hinostroza a key piece of the team’s future, but he clearly was deemed expendable enough to unload Hossa’s contract, which carried three more years at $5.275 million a year.
The trade reportedly leaves the Blackhawks with about $8.5 million in cap space. The Sun-Times reports Chicago has been engaged in trade talks with the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Justin Faulk, who would likely join Chicago’s top defensive pairing and boost their lackluster power play.