They have a cap hit of $60.613MM, which is $3.8MM over this year's cap ceiling (keeping in mind that next year's ceiling is supposed to go down by a couple million or, at best, stay the same). But at least they have a full roster signed.
Nine forwards, five defensemen and one goalie. That's a full team, right?
So, they're four million over, and they have at least five players left to sign, to get to the minimum roster of 20. Let's assume they trade for the five cheapest guys in existence, locking in the lowest cap hits currently available. That's 5x $487K added to the cap hit, which brings the total to $63.048MM, which is $6.25MM over this year's cap.
Assuming a best-case/worst-case range, the Hawks have to find a way to clear between $6.25MM and $8.25MM in salary.
I guess if I were them, I would send Sopel to the AHL. That saves $2.33MM, but you have to fill his roster spot now, so add another $487K. So, $4.405MM to go. Who's next? I guess I would deal Kopecky, that saves another $700K (net), with, $3.7MM to go. No one is ever going to take on that Campbell contract. I guess one plan would be to hope you win the cup and then trade Huet at peak value. That could happen, and then you'd be done. Failing that (and I think trading Huet is extremely unlikely), Chicago is going to have to lose two of Bolland, Baker, Versteeg, Byfuglien or Seabrook, or else lose just one of them and then waive Campbell and hope someone picks him up on re-entry at half-price.
So, to sum up, I would probably demote Sopel, trade Kopecky and two of Bolland, Baker, Versteeg, Byfuglien or Seabrook. And replace them with NINE MINIMUM WAGE EMPLOYEES.
Yeah, right. Good management, Chicago. You're completely screwed. And after you lose in the Cup finals to Pittsburgh, and HOSSA GOES INTO THE LOONEY BIN, what then?
(Wait. Is that the plan? Hossa goes away on "medical leave" and you get his cap hit off the books? That's possibly genius. Okay, I take it all back. I hope that happens.)