The Chicago Blackhawks have signed Mattias Janmark to a one-year, $2.25 million contract.
This is another move that is going to be questioned by Blackhawk fans. Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman was just discussing how he wants the Blackhawks to play their younger players. So, Bowman then trades Brandon Saad for Nikita Zadorov and signs a 27-year old Mattias Janmark.
Clearly, I believe Bowman is not entirely sure which direction he wants to go in. The Saad trade and Janmark signing would be fine if the Blackhawks kept Corey Crawford or signed another veteran goalie. With three young, inexperienced goalies competing for the starting and backup positions, a lot of people thought this was the start of a rebuild.
This also raises questions about why Drake Caggiula was not retained since Caggiula is younger (turned 26 in June) and would be cheaper than Janmark. Comparing their stats, Caggiula had 15 points in 40 games for the Blackhawks which comes to a 0.375 PPG. With Dallas, Janmark posted 21 points in 62 games for a 0.338 PPG.
However, I do believe this was a decent depth signing for the Blackhawks if all goes to plan. Janmark is a player who can play center and wing, so he has versatility to his game. He’ll chip in a little bit on offense and with the Dallas Stars, he was apart of their penalty kill, which is an area the Blackhawks struggled with in the playoffs.
I project Janmark will play with Jonathan Toews, to take the place of Saad, or he’ll be relegated to more of a 3rd or 4th line checking role, with some PK time. Janmark is fast which is another area the Blackhawks have struggled with.
Overall, I think this signing has some upside if all goes to plan, but at the moment it is a little puzzling. I hope Bowman is confident with the moves he’s made this off-season because a lot of people are starting to questions his decisions and the direction the Blackhawks are going in. Only time will tell, but I’ll be intrigued to see what other moves Bowman has up his sleeve before the next season begins.