The Chicago Blackhawks quickly dealt with two pending restricted free agents, including one they recently acquired in a trade
Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has been busy of late, primarily making big trades and drafting to fill the team’s prospect pool. Today, he engaged in some slightly less complicated negotiations.
The Blackhawks inked forward Tomas Jurco and goaltender Anton Forsberg to new contracts. The cost of these deals were not immediately known, but Jurco’s is for one year and Forsberg’s for two. Both men were restricted free agents in need of a new deal.
More on Jurco
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Neither of these moves are surprising, staring with Jurco’s re-signing. The Blackhawks protected Jurco during the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft, all but guaranteeing he would return to the team next season unless contract negotiations proved impassible.
Jurco was acquired by Chicago from the Detroit Red Wings during the 2016-17 season for a third-round draft pick. He was known as a forward with a good bit of potential, but one who was struggling to get close to that potential in Detroit.
Jurco didn’t have much of an impact in Chicago during his brief first run. The 24-year-old tallied a goal in 13 regular-season games while not suiting up during the Blackhawks’ brief stay in the postseason. Jurco has maxed out at 18 points in a season, during the 2014-15 campaign.
His most recent salary cap hit came at $900,000 each of the last two seasons. We know Jurco signed a one-year contract this time around, so it’d be fair to assume the cost is similar.
More on Forsberg
The Blackhawks acquired Forsberg last week in the deal that brought Brandon Saad back to Chicago while sending Artemi Panarin to Columbus. The 24-year-old had a strong season with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters last year, carrying a 27-17-2 record with a .926 save percentage and 2.28 goals-against average.
Forsberg was clearly brought in to the fill the backup role behind starter Corey Crawford. Forsberg has limited NHL experience (10 games across three seasons), but the Blackhawks obviously feel strongly about trying to groom him into an NHL backup and, possibly, future starter as Crow ages.
Forsberg brought a cap hit of $650,000 on a one-year deal last season, and there’s no reason to suspect he gets much more on a two-year deal with the Blackhawks.