It seems as if Marcus Kruger’s days with the Chicago Blackhawks are numbered.
TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports the Blackhawks have a deal in place with the newly-formed Las Vegas Golden Knights that will send Kruger to the NHL’s newest team. Kruger was one of eight forwards left unprotected by the team leading up to the expansion draft.
The Golden Knights are required to take one player from every other team’s roster. The Hawks would probably prefer Vegas takes Kruger off their hands. However, Kruger’s $3.08 million annual salary makes that notion a bit more difficult.
The Golden Knights would essentially be doing Chicago a favor by taking Kruger off the roster. The Blackhawks are deprived of salary cap space, while the Knights could be inclined to find a cheaper and perhaps more useful option to pluck off Chicago’s roster. That’s why Chicago will essentially sweeten the pot by making a deal with Vegas.
Seravalli reports getting Kruger off the books will cost Chicago defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk. The 25-year-old defender completed his second full season in the NHL, recording five goals and 16 points. He’s been a favorite of Joel Quenneville and has served primarily on Chicago’s third pairing. However, his upside has given him a bit of a longer leash despite some early struggles.
Once again, the Blackhawks will be forced to pay the cost of doing business. It’s not a matter of if Kruger is dealt, but when.