Per a report from Scott Powers from The Athletic Chicago, the Chicago Blackhawks are “actively” pursuing ways to move defenseman Brandon Manning and Jan Rutta.
Manning and Rutta, who have both seen time on the third defensive pairing for Chicago, both carry a $2.28 million a year cap hit, according to CapFriendly. Manning signed a two-year deal with the team this summer, while Rutta re-signed for one year after joining the team as a free agent from the Czech Republic. The Blackhawks currently only have $4.98 million in cap space. Per the report, the Blackhawks are “would be willing to accept anything” to get either one of the struggling defensemen off the books.
Manning, who found himself out of a roster spot with the Philadelphia Flyers this summer, has one goal and two assists in 24 games this season. Rutta has two goals and four assists in 22 games. Both have struggled whenever they are on the ice, but Manning’s last two games have been sound.
Moving either defenseman would create a roster spot of Connor Murphy, who has been sidelined since the beginning of the year while he recovered from back surgery in September. Murphy has been cleared for contact, and even traveled with the team to Anaheim and Vegas. Murphy scored two goals anf had 12 assists in 76 games with his inaugral season with the Blackhawks last year.