Since the re-buffing of Antti Niemi and signing of Marty Turco, there’s finally a light at the end of the Blackhawks off-season tunnel. Over the weekend, they announced a one-year contract to Jordan Hendry for $600,000. If you recall, the Hawks refused to offer Hendry a qualifying offer in hopes he would take less than his salary of $675,000 from a year ago. Which he did. Great success.
So if you’re keeping score, the Hawks will more than likely have 7 defensemen, 2 goaltenders, and 13 forwards set to start the season. All with a bit of cap space to spare. Of course, unlike last year’s training camp, I count at least 4 roster battles in the pre-season. Every spot on the fourth line, including the 13th forward, will be up for grabs, their 6th and 7th defensemen are still up in the air, and Corey Crawford will have to make sure not to crap all over himself in the pre-season.
After a colon-cleansing off-season, Stan Bowman has but one decision to make: Deciding on which free agent defenseman he wants to sign. There’s plenty of available depth guys and there’s no rush on any of them, lest the KHL comes calling for them. Once he gets whoever the Hawks have targeted as ‘their’ guy, the training camp roster will be set to go.
Until then, let the rampant speculation begin.