Free Agency Goes Crazy ... Just Not In Chicago, the 2013 Obsession Continues, Social Media Gold, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Free Agency Goes Crazy … Just Not In Chicago, the 2013 Obsession Continues, Social Media Gold, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Welcome to an NHL world where the Columbus Blue Jackets are signing the No. 1 free agent on the market! What a stunner from the Jackets, who landed Johnny Gaudreau with a seven-year deal at $9.8 million AAV. Between that blockbuster, the Hurricanes acquiring both Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty and the Lightning handing out eight-year deals like Halloween candy, yesterday was a fascinating day in the NHL.

  • Before we get to free agency, the Blackhawks entire 2022 draft class was at Wrigley Field to take in a Cubs game. They saw a loss. Get used to it, boys.
  • The Blackhawks added six players via free agency on Wednesday: five are forwards and one veteran netminder.
  • Add one more forward to the mix early on Thursday morning. Scott Powers is reporting Dylan Sikura is coming back to the organization on a one-year deal.
  • How did the Blackhawks do in free agency? Before the market opened, we shared one analyst’s prediction (spoiler: dead last). Their free agent additions apparently made them better to the point they aren’t in the basement in the division any longer.
  • So anyways, Max Domi and Connor Murphy are going to be teammates now. If you paid attention to the Hawks the last couple years, you know they weren’t exactly sharing a meal before or after playing each other.
  • The signing of Domi means the Blackhawks have, at some point had 19 players from the 2013 NHL Draft in the organization. NINETEEN! They aren’t Happy Meal toys, folks… we don’t need to collect em all!
  • But what do the signings of the three forwards mean to the NHL lineup? Scott Powers at The Athletic offered his thoughts on the 12 forwards and six defensemen heading into the new year. It’s an… interesting… mix.
  • Patrick was at the Blackhawks’ development camp on Wednesday. The team’s new Assistant GM of Development, Mark Eaton, met with the media and spoke about the unified approach the entire organization has to developing prospects properly.
  • An under-the-radar move by the larger Blackhawks organization, Rockford signed defenseman Adam Clendening to a surprisingly large deal. The Hawks drafted Clendening in the second round in 2011 and he’s been part of the organization on two separate occasions previously. He adds veteran depth in Rockford, which supports Eaton’s comments at camp Wednesday (and Davidson’s previously) that they want to guide and develop in Rockford.
  • Late Wednesday afternoon the Carolina Hurricanes acquired two players, one of whom is all-star Max Pacioretty, from the Golden Knights in a stunning salary dump move by Vegas. We always appreciate the sentimental good bye tweets and social messages, and Carolina shared an especially poignant message for their departing… piece.
  • Former Blackhawks forward Dominik Kubalik signed with Detroit for $2.5 million, well below where his qualifying offer would have been from Chicago.
  • The No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft, Shane Wright, signed his entry-level contract with the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday as well. He shared a pretty cool moment on the ice after putting pen to paper.
  • Finally, we’re once again going to stick with the prospect highlights theme on the diamond for this missile.

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Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab