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Sharks sign Hjalmarsson to Offer Sheet - Hawks can't match without dumping Sharp, Bolland, Seabrook or Niemi

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Bob McKenzie (TSNBobMcKenzie) on Twitter

# CHI has seven days to match. Back to vacation. 3 minutes ago

# I am not working, but I can tell you TSN's Gord Miller reports San Jose has signed Niklas Hjalmarsson to a four-year, $14M offer sheet.

$3.5MM cap hit (and compensation would be San Jose's 1st, 2nd and 3rd 2011 picks). Can Chicago match? Let's go to Cap Geek:

With Hjalmarsson at $3.5MM and Niemi at $4MM (which is a reasonable expectation of the outcome of arbitration, if you ask me), promoting the cheapest players available to fill out a minimum roster of 20, and burying Huet in the minors at the end of the summer, the Hawks will find themselves $1.13MM over the cap.

  • Bowman can of course gamble that the arbiter will give Niemi closer to $3MM. But he will have to decide on Hjalmarsson before the Niemi award, so that's quite a gamble, given:
  • In order to match Hjalmarsson and keep Niemi@$4MM, the Hawks will have to let go of at least $1.7MM in cap hit (the overage plus $600K to replace the player the Hawks get rid of). There is no one left on the roster who makes that amount or near it.
  • The eligible candidates are Patrick Sharp, Dave Bolland or Brent Seabrook. And there's no way that's going to happen. The Hawks aren't trading those guys.
  • So the only option for Bowman is to choose between Hjalmarsson and Niemi. And given Bowman's lust for high picks lately, I am going to assume he's going to let Hjalmarsson walk and take the compensation. I would bet on it actually.
  • So add Hjalmarsson to the list of cap casualties. The hold-overs from the cup run are now numbered at eleven. Now what did I say months ago?