SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 01: Brandon Bollig #52 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates during pre-game warm ups prior to playing the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on February 1, 2014 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Chicago signs Bollig to three-year, $3.75 million extension


Brandon Bollig has agreed to a three-year contract extension worth $3.75 million with the Chicago Blackhawks, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

He was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but now that he’s locked up, Chicago only has four players on its active roster that are still eligible to leave the team on July 1. Although the Blackhawks have made some trades since winning the Stanley Cup for the second time in four campaigns, their primary focus has been on keeping their current core intact.

Bollig is a late bloomer, playing in his first full NHL season at the age of 27. He has just 12 points in 62 games, but leads the team with 138 hits.

With Bollig signed, Chicago has a little over $65.1 million committed to 17 players for the 2014-15, per Cap Geek. With all their major players signed through next season, that’s not much of a concern, but it still means that they’re unlikely to make a big splash during the free agent period this summer.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.