Blackhawks: Slater Koekkoek talks being a pending RFA

Slater Koekkoek #68, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Slater Koekkoek #68, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Slater Koekkoek talked to the media today about being a pending restricted free agent. Here’s what he had to say, along with him wanting to stay with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Slater Koekkoek, 26, has improved as a hockey player during the last two seasons, mostly because he’s been given a chance by Jeremy Colliton to play his game. The Chicago Blackhawks have seen major improvements with their younger players due to the system Colliton runs, which favors a player’s strengths and what they’re comfortable with.

Slater Koekkoek made sure to bring that up, as he thanked Jeremy Colliton for giving him a chance to play his game.

That’s one thing I’ve heard a lot of players saying, they’ve given Colliton credit for his attention to details and letting players play their game. That’s great, but, making the playoffs is even better. This team is getting better and they have a bright future, but results need to come soon.

Here are Slater’s comments on being a pending RFA and wanting to come back to Chicago.

"“I would love to come back to Chicago. I’ve really enjoyed my time there. I owe Jeremy Colliton a lot for giving me that opportunity this season and allowing me go out and play my game. I hope to be back.”"

Koekkoek played in 42-games this season, scoring 1-goal and having 9-assists for a total of 10-points. He had a career-high in games played and assists. Even as a defenseman, I’d like to see the goal numbers come up.

I was impressed by the play by Koekkoek in the playoffs. He is coming into his own as a player, but there are a lot of players waiting in the wings, that are younger, to take his spot. The defensive pairings will be interesting next season.

Whether Koekkoek returns or not, fans should remain exciting about the future of this defense. Ian Mitchell, Nicolas Beaudin, Lucas Carlsson, and Alex Regula are young and exciting players to watch. They just need time in the NHL to get better.

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No shame in bringing Koekkoek back on a cheap deal. If he expects more than what he was paid last year ($925,000), he most likely won’t be returning in 2020-21.