Tag: Jonathan Toews

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six

Trade: Jackets land Saad; Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago


Last week Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews acknowledged the team’s cap crunch, saying it feels a lot like 2010.

On Tuesday, the first domino fell.

The Chicago Blackhawks sent forward Brandon Saad and prospects Michael Paliotta and center Alex Broadhurst to the Blue Jackets in exchange for Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a fourth round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

The deal came after Bowman and Saad’s camp were unable to agree to a new contract. Saad’s three-year $2.8 million entry-level deal was set to expire on Wednesday, making him a restricted free agent, and (as suggested in the tweet above) there were rumblings about him potentially signing an offer sheet elsewhere.

“We’re very excited to bring Brandon Saad, a 22-year old two-time Stanley Cup champion with great size, speed, power and the ability to score goals, to our organization,” said Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. “He is a proven winner and exactly the kind of player we want as a Columbus Blue Jacket.”

Prior to the trade, Chicago had roughly $8 million in cap space to play with for the 2015-16 season.

The move is a stunner on a variety of fronts. Bowman repeatedly expressed confidence throughout this season — especially during the Stanley Cup Final — that he’d be able to re-sign Saad, the 22-year-old forward that looks to be a star in the making.

For Columbus, it’s a big, bold move and the second out-of-nowhere deal orchestrated by GM Jarmo Kekalainen. At last year’s trade deadline, Kekalainen stunned the hockey world by trading injured forward Nathan Horton to Toronto for David Clarkson, considered to have one of the league’s most undesirable contracts.

Report: Oduya is already pondering offers, won’t wait for Chicago

Johnny Oduya

Johnny Oduya isn’t going to wait for the Chicago Blackhawks to sort out their cap issues, instead electing to hit free agency without hesitation, according to ESPN Chicago.

That same report indicates that Oduya, 33, has already received inquiries from “several” teams.

A couple days ago, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman indeed indicated that it might take some time for Chicago to figure out what they can do (and what free agents like Oduya and Brad Richards want), as CSNChicago.com noted.

“They need to decide where they’re going to go dollar-wise, and we need to figure out what we can possibly offer,” Bowman said.

This might be frustrating for Blackhawks fans, especially in the case of Oduya, who obviously served a big purpose in Chicago’s Stanley Cup run (which required grinding work by its top-four defense). At the same time, it’s clear that the Blackhawks are already in a significant cap crunch thanks in part to raises for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, so challenges are ahead.

One can imagine Oduya’s agent merely filling his “resume” with photos of the defenseman raising the Stanley Cup, but his value extends beyond that.

Oduya didn’t generate a ton of points (10 during the regular season), yet his time on ice numbers will be a significant selling point, as he saw his ice time jump to 24:45 minutes per postseason contest. You can read more about his situation here, but simply enough, there aren’t many experienced (and still fairly young) blueliners on the market who are on par with him.

All things considered, Oduya is almost certainly out of Chicago’s price range, and it doesn’t sound like either side is really denying that.

Toews, Kane featured on NHL 16 cover, set franchise firsts

2015 NHL Awards - Press Room

For the first time in the history of EA Sports’ NHL series, two teammates and the Stanley Cup will appear on the cover as NHL 16 will feature Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The last time the cover included two athletes was NHL 96, but that one showed Steve Yzerman and Scott Stevens competing against each other.

“Being teamed up with Jonathan for the NHL 16 cover is a great feeling,” Kane said, per EA Sports. “I never would have imagined being on the cover twice, and the fact this is happening on top of our team taking home the Cup is unreal.”

Kane was featured on NHL 10 while Jonathan Toews was the cover athletes a year later. They’re the first players to appear on the worldwide cover twice.

NHL 16 will be out in North America on September 15. You can see the game’s E3 trailer below: