Chicago Blackhawks Free Agency: Handzus Surprise!

By Keith Schultz

Jun 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus celebrates in the locker room with the Stanley Cup after game six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. The Blackhawks won 3-2 to win the series four games to two. Mandatory Credit: David Sandford/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

The biggest surprise of Day #1 of the NHL free agency period was that the Chicago Blackhawks re-signed Michal Handzus to a 1 year contract worth $1,000,000.  Handzus is 36 years old and after helping the Hawks win their second Stanley Cup in four years was expected to not return for the 2013-2014 season.

Stan Bowman being Stan Bowman always likes to have a veteran presence guy in the locker room and apparently he  liked enough of what they saw from Handzus in 11 regular season games and 23 post-season games to take him up for another spin next season.

It seemed liked every time I called out Handzus for being slow and old and not suited for Chicago Blackhawks hockey he would go and score a huge goal like the ones he scored in the third period of Game #6 in Detroit, and the opening shorthanded goal in Game #4 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

It was reported after the finals that Handzus played with a broken wrist during the finals which is extremely impressive especially since he took a lot of faceoffs down the stretch.

I was liking what Bowman was talking about when he kept mentioning Brandon Pirri to step up in the Dave Bolland role which should be still there for him to compete for, but now the Hawks have committed one of their center spots to Handzus for next year it means the other centers in the organization could be in Rockford.

Drew LeBlanc and Mark McNeill and anyone else that want to make it to the show will probably have to beat our Pirri with the re-signing of Handzus, but more than likely will have to work on their craft in Rockford during the 2013-2014 campaign!

Bowman with another ripple move because he refuses to do cannonballs! What do you think of Handzus returning next season?

For more Blackhawks conversation and updates follow us on Twitter @Blackhawk_Up or Like us on Facebook at Blackhawkup.