Blackhawks trade Marian Hossa's contract, Vinnie Hinostroza to Coyotes in seven-player deal
Chicago frees up immediate cap space to use in another deal, but it comes at a price
The Chicago Blackhawks seem poised to make a big splash in the trade market this offseason, and they might have taken a big step in that direction Thursday.
The Blackhawks and Coyotes came to an agreement on a complex seven-player trade that will send Vinnie Hinostroza, Marian Hossa, Jordan Oesterle and a third-round pick to Arizona in exchange for Marcus Kruger, MacKenzie Entwistle, Jordan Maletta, Andrew Campbell and a 2019 fifth-round draft pick.
On the Coyotes side, they get a decent young player in Hinostroza -- a 24-year-old center who put up seven goals and 25 points in 50 games last season -- and the 26-year-old Oesterle, a left-shot defenseman who averaged over 20 minutes of ice time over 55 games on Chicago's blue line last season.
Arizona will also assume the contract of Hossa, who is unlikely to ever play again due to a skin disease. Hossa carries a $5.275 million cap hit for the next three seasons, but with some noteworthy fine print. Hossa's base salary is only $1 million per year, with 80 percent of that salary insured -- meaning the Coyotes will only have to shell out $200,000 annually.
While Hossa's significant cap hit will still count toward Arizona's total cap number, the Coyotes have the financial flexibility to fit him (and his hit) on the roster without having to sweat it too much. They'll also be able to stash Hossa on long-term injured reserve during the season, which will bring cap relief.
On the Blackhawks' side, they reunite with center Marcus Kruger, who was part of Chicago's Stanley Cup roster in 2013 and 2015, and get 18-year-old forward prospect MacKenzie Entwistle, minor-league forward Jordan Maletta and veteran AHL defenseman Andrew Campbell.
And while the Blackhawks get pieces back in return, the most important part of this deal will likely be the financial relief it provides. By ditching Hossa's contract and cap hit, the Blackhawks won't have to wait for LTIR relief and get immediate breathing room on the cap. Now the question becomes what do they do with it?
Of course, that immediate financial flexibility comes at a cost. Chicago's return is pretty underwhelming in regards to what is going Arizona's way, but we'll have to reserve full judgment until the other shoe drops. It seems likely that Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman isn't done wheeling and dealing and has his sights set on bigger targets in the days ahead.
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