The Chicago Blackhawks seemed like they were headed into an offseason full of questions after winning the 2013 Stanley Cup, yet they’re being proactive enough that most of them could be answered before July 5.
GM Stan Bowman settled one of the bigger remaining conundrums on Wednesday, signing young defenseman Nick Leddy to a two-year contract. (This post will be updated with the financial terms when they’re available.)
Leddy, 22, is already off to a promising start in his young career. He’s played in every Blackhawks game the past two seasons.
There were some bumps in the road in 2013, however.
He saw almost a five-minute drop in regular season ice time, as he went from averaging 22:05 minutes per night in 2011-12 to 17:25 this season. That 17:25 average went down in the playoffs, too, as he logged just 14:21 per evening.
That might come down to playing less than 10 minutes per night in the last three games of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, leaving some to wonder if he was losing favor with head coach Joel Quenneville.
Still, the general feeling is that the blueliner has a bright future, which is why Chicago retained him today.
Settling Leddy’s contract along with Bryan Bickell’s big deal (after trading Michael Frolik and Dave Bolland) leaves only depth player decisions on Bowman’s plate … unless, of course, the team decides to add an impact free agent or two.
Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.
Per @EliasSports: @LAKings had 9 different skaters score in a game for 5th time in franchise history. Last: Jan. 21, 1987 vs. PIT (10-5 W).
Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.
Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”
Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.