Tag: Ben Smith

Report: Contract negotiations between Blackhawks, Kruger ‘progressing OK’


Marcus Kruger was tendered a qualifying offer from the Chicago Blackhawks, but as of Saturday, there was no new deal in place for the 25-year-old center.

From ESPN Chicago:

The Chicago Blackhawks and restricted free agent forward Marcus Kruger are continuing to negotiate a new contract, a source said on Saturday.

“Things are progressing OK,” the source said. “Nothing really to report, but nothing to worry about either.”

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman described negotiations with Kruger and his agent as going “very well” on Tuesday and thought they were getting closer to a deal.

Kruger’s offensive totals were down in 2014-15. He had only seven goals and 17 points in 81 regular season games, but was relied heavily upon on the penalty kill. The previous season, Kruger recorded a career high 28 points in 81 games.

With the trade of Ben Smith to San Jose this season, Kruger emerged as the leader among Chicago forwards in ice time on the penalty kill per game.

Blackhawks re-sign Desjardins — two years, $1.6 million

Andrew Desjardins

The Chicago Blackhawks have re-signed forward Andrew Desjardins. And they’ve kept him for a bargain.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Desjardins’ contract is for two years with a cap hit of $800,000. That’s only slightly more than the $750,000 cap hit he carried this season.

“Took far less to stay,” his agent, Todd Reynolds, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Loves it there.”

Desjardins was traded to the ‘Hawks in March, coming from San Jose for Ben Smith. The 28-year-old finished with one goal and three assists during Chicago’s Stanley Cup run.

GM Stan Bowman said after the final: “We would love to bring him back. It was a nice surprise the way Desjardins played a huge role for us. I think he played a bigger role than we probably expected.”

Related: ‘Hawks would like to re-sign Oduya, but still working through ‘financial hurdles’

Bowman would ‘love’ to re-sign UFA Desjardins

Andrew Desjardins

The Chicago Blackhawks are expected to be forced into making sacrifices this summer in order to stay under the salary ceiling, but one player GM Stan Bowman doesn’t want to let walk away is Andrew Desjardins.

“We would love to bring him back,” Bowman said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “It was a nice surprise the way Desjardins played a huge role for us. I think he played a bigger role than we probably expected.”

Bowman acquired the 28-year-old forward from the San Jose Sharks on March 2 in exchange for Ben Smith and a 2017 conditional seventh round pick. He went on to record a goal and four points in 21 playoff games while logging an average of 13:55 minutes per contest. That included some ice time in power play and shorthanded situations.

Desjardins is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after completing a two-year, $1.5 million deal.

The Blackhawks also have to make a decision regarding UFAs Antoine Vermette and Brad Richards, although Chicago could be priced out of both of them as they’re likely to attract a fair amount of attention on the open market.


Bowman vows to keep Saad in Chicago ‘for years to come’

Video: U.S. rallies to beat Switzerland, advances to Worlds semis


It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.

That’s what the U.S. showed Thursday in its quarterfinal against Switzerland at the World Hockey Championships — after spotting the Swiss a 1-0 lead, the Americans rallied to score three unanswered for a 3-1 win, advancing to the semifinals for the second time in three years.

Charlie Coyle scored the game-winning tally midway through the second period, just a minute after San Jose forward Ben Smith had scored to even the game at 1-1. Smith’s goal canceled out Roman Josi’s highlight-reel marker that put Switzerland on the board in the first period, and Jake Gardiner scored the insurance tally with less than 10 minutes remaining.

For the U.S., Connor Hellebuyck continued his strong play this tournament, stopping 21 of 22 shots for a.954 save percentage. Colorado netminder Reto Berra made 21 saves for Switzerland.

As mentioned above, the win moves the U.S. into the semis, where it’ll face the winner of the Russia-Sweden game (to be played later today).

Video: Josi splits U.S. with beauty goal to open scoring in Worlds quarterfinal


Dream start for the Swiss in today’s World Hockey Championship quarterfinal — not so much for Team USA.

Nashville defenseman Roman Josi opened the scoring 13 minutes into the first period on Thursday, firing home this unassisted marker after dancing through the U.S. defense:

Despite that start, the Americans battled back midway through the second period with two goals in less than a minute — from Ben Smith and Charlie Coyle — to take a 2-1 lead.