Restricted free agent forward Marcus Kruger will continue to wait for the Chicago Blackhawks to clear space under the NHL salary cap so he can re-sign with them, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.
Kruger's agent, J.P. Barry, told the Tribune in an email "we will be patient" while the Blackhawks manage their salary situation. Barry also said if space is not created, Kruger "will have no choice later in August but to do a shorter deal."
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Chicago is approximately $400,000 over the salary cap of $71.4 million, according to war-on-ice.com. A team can be 10 percent over the cap ($7.14 million) during the offseason.
Kruger's two-year contract, which had an average annual value of $1.325 million, expired after last season. He did not file for salary arbitration with the hope of signing a long-term contract.
The 25-year old was selected in the fifth round (No. 149) of the 2009 NHL Draft and had seven goals and 17 points in 81 games last season. He had four points in 23 games in the playoffs for the Stanley Cup champions.
The Blackhawks this offseason traded forwards Patrick Sharp (Dallas Stars) and forward Brandon Saad (Columbus Blue Jackets), and lost forwards Brad Richards (Detroit Red Wings) and Antoine Vermette (Arizona Coyotes), and defenseman Johnny Oduya (Dallas Stars) in free agency.
Chicago added forwards Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano and Ryan Garbutt, and defenseman Trevor Daley.