Straight off of a Stanley Cup victory, it was easy to realize who the Chicago Blackhawks should re-sign and who they should let go, and a few weeks into the offseason and five key re-signings, two trades, and two major releases later, the team’s management has perfectly executed what needed to be done.
Let’s take a brief look at the key moves from this offseason.
- Re-signed Bryan Bickell to a four-year, $16 million contract
- Re-signed Nick Leddy to a two-year, $5.4 million contract
- Re-signed Marcus Kruger to a two-year, $2.65 million contract
- Traded Dave Bolland to the Toronto Maple Leafs
- Traded Michael Frolik to the Winnipeg Jets
- Allowed free agent Ray Emery to walk, he signed with the Philadelphia Flyers
- Signed Nikolai Khabibulin to a one-year, $2 million contract
The Blackhawks haven’t, and most likely won’t, make a splash in the free agency market, but they probably don’t have to.
The ‘Hawks aren’t going to have to wait another three years to be Stanley Cup contenders because of the moves this offseason. All the right players are back to be serious contenders next season. Being in the weakest of the four new divisions will definitely help as well, but there is no substitute for great moves from the front office.
It’s great to see “re-signed” next to players’ names this offseason after the unavoidable mass exodus that came after winning the Stanley Cup in 2010. Stan Bowman and the team’s management deserve credit, because the ‘Hawks lost more than 10 players in 2010, yet developed into the league’s best team in three years and won another Stanley Cup.
Even after the mass exodus, the team didn’t miss the playoffs. That’s nothing short of remarkable and shows how important it is to have good, young talent.