Blackhawks: Signing Curtis Lazar
With the final free agent profile of the month, we look at one of my personal favorite players Curtis Lazar. The 27 year old forward went over to Boston as part of the Taylor Hall swap, and is now a pending unrestricted free agent. In 404 career games played in the NHL, Lazar has 35 goals and 55 assists for 90 points. The lackluster offensive production is definitely something people have noticed after he was hyped up to be a top 6 goal scorer during his prime.
Last season in 70 games played with the Bruins, Lazar had 16 points with a -2. His role in the bottom 6 remained steady as he was, and always has been a trusted guy in his own zone. His 200 foot game, and his ability to adapt to a new role outside of juniors has been something I've noticed during his time between Buffalo and Boston. He's the kind of guy you want in your locker room because he won't complain, he will just let his play dictate his position in the lineup, and he has the ability to be a solid penalty killer when called upon.
As I've mentioned in every recent profile, the Blackhawks need to look for cheap, low risk, high reward contracts. Lazar won't earn any more then $1 Million a season on the open market. For a guy that wants to increase his role at the ripe age of 27, Chicago is a place he can come too and work his way up the lineup as the games go on. I can see the Blackhawks bringing him in for 2 years around 800k a season, and if he bounces back and finds an increased scoring touch, this contract could end up looking like the steal of the off-season.