I fielded a postgame call from a gentleman worried about Nick Leddy's contract.
"Don't the Blackhawks have a big decision coming up with Nick Leddy? Are they going to send him back?"
When it comes to the cap, there's plenty to be confused about. I'm in that group; I regularly talk to personnel guys in the league to get answers on certain details.
I'll try and explain the Leddy issue in simple terms.
If Nick Leddy -- because he was signed as a 19-year-old -- does NOT play a tenth game (which he most likely will this weekend), his contract will "slide", meaning the team would have him under contract for the '11-'12, '12-'13 and '13-'14 seasons.
If Leddy was signed as a 20-year-old -- and played the number of games he's played to this point (under 10 at the NHL level) -- his contract would NOT "slide". The age when he was signed is the issue.
My understanding is that the Blackhawks are primarily concerned about whether Leddy can help the team win games. He can be sent back to Rockford and continue his pro development.
If Leddy was junior-eligible -- which means he would have to go back for the entire junior campaign -- then the team would possibly feel different.
I've heard some concern among the Blackhawks faithful that burning a year of Leddy's contract puts him only two years away from restricted free-agent status.
It's a valid concern. But offer sheets for RFAs are still uncommon -- and frowned upon in some circles -- around the league.