The Chicago Blackhawks have had an active week. From the Seth Jones trade at the beginning of the NHL Draft, to the Marc-Andre Fleury trade, to the opening of free agency today, Chicago has made significant moves to change the look of the 2020-21 squad for the upcoming season.
Their latest move, signing forward Jujhar Khaira to a two-year deal.
Welcome to Sweet Home Chicago 🌆
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) July 28, 2021
Khaira has spent his entire professional career with the Edmonton Oilers organization, playing in 258 NHL games and 133 AHL games since making his pro debut in 2014. A former third-round pick by Edmonton in 2012, Khaira has been a full-time NHLer for the past four seasons with the Oilers, tallying 24 goals and 63 points in his NHL career, with three goals and 11 points in 40 games last season.
One cool element: he's the third player of Punjabi descent ever to play in the NHL.
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) July 28, 2021
The deal is for two years at less than $1M per season, so the deal is very affordable for a player who will likely play a fourth-line role with the Blackhawks. At 6’4″ and 215-pounds, Khaira is a physical player, but won’t bring much to the club offensively.
Jujhar Khaira (2 year deal with Chicago) is a fourth-liner. pic.twitter.com/20A8Xp367h
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) July 28, 2021
With the addition of Khaira on a relatively team-friendly deal, it’s showing more reason why the Blackhawks have allowed players like Pius Suter and David Kämpf to explore the free agency market. Chicago has added Seth Jones, Tyler Johnson, and maybe Marc-Andre Fleury in the last few days, so penny-pinching where they can has been the name of the game in recent days. Chicago is no longer “rebuilding,” since teams that are in that process don’t spend to the salary cap ceiling.