Chicago Blackhawks alum James Wisniewski is returning to where his NHL career began, just not in the NHL
James Wisniewski is back in Chicago — but not with the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s signed on with the Chicago Wolves instead.
That is right. Wisnieski had been signed by the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, affiliate of the St. Louis Blues.
Wisniewski was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2002. He was a fifth-round pick in the NHL draft. Wisniewski played with the Blackhawks from 2005 to the 2008-09 season. He played four seasons and 168 games with the ’Hawks. In 168 games, he recorded 13 goals and 43 assists.
Looking back at Wisniewski’s NHL career
He was traded during the 2008-09 season along with Petri Kontiola to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Samuel Påhlsson and Logan Stephenson. Pahlsson appeared in 12 games with the Blackhawks, and Stephenson never appeared in a game for the Blackhawks.
Wisniewski was traded away before the Blackhawks’ resurgence and might be most famous for his vicious hit on Brent Seabrook.
Wisniewski would be dealt from the Ducks to the New York Islanders before the 2010-11 season. He played 32 games in New York before being dealt to the Montreal Canadiens. He had 21 points with the Islanders. After the trade to the Habs, he appeared in 43 games, recording seven goals and 23 assists. He also had two assists in the playoffs with the Habs.
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After his stint in Montreal, Wisniewski got a six-year, $33 million contract from Columbus. He was a bust in Columbus being hurt most of his time there. In four seasons, he had appeared in 209 games, scoring 26 goals and adding 95 assists. He did another tour of duty with the Ducks in 2014-15. He played 13 games with them.
His last NHL gig was with the Carolina Hurricanes, he appeared in one game before tearing his ACL. He missed the entire year. He would get a pro-tryout contract with Tampa Bay this season but fail to make the team.
He did begin this season in the KHL with the Vladivostok Admiral. Wiesniewski must be thinking that Wolves might need another veteran defenseman after the All-Star break.
Chicago Wolves love former Chicago Blackhawks
Wisniewski is not the first former Blackhawks player to play in Chicago with the Wolves.
Hall of Famer Chris Chelios played for the Wolves in 2009-10. Chelios played 46 games for the Wolves that season, recording five goals and 17 assists.
Other notable former Blackhawks to play with the Wolves are Brent Sopel and Ben Eager. Sopel played 29 games during the 2014-15 season. He had one goal and seven assists. Eager also played on the Wolves in a 2014-15, bringing additional championship experience to the team. He had no goals and two assists that season.