Evaluating Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Kyle Davidson's past free agent signings

Chicago Blackhawks v San Jose Sharks
Chicago Blackhawks v San Jose Sharks / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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What do Zach Hyman and Carter Verhaeghe have in common? Aside from being elite goal scorers on Stanley Cup finalists, they were also free agent signings by the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers, respectively.

The free agency period is a crucial time of the year for general managers as they look to add players to help their team reach its goals, whether that be Stanley Cups or lottery picks. Of course, it is imperative not to overpay, as a bad deal signed in July can cripple a team’s cap structure in the future.

Since he took the GM post in Chicago, Kyle Davidson has used free agency as a way to plug holes in the NHL roster while prospects developed in junior, overseas, or the AHL. That may change this summer, as the Hawks will be looking to add some quality players to supplement their young core and win more games than last season. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of Davidson’s more impactful free-agent signings.

Alex Stalock

Stalock, a career journeyman, performed reasonably well as the backup behind a brutal Hawks roster in 2022-2023. He won nine of his 27 starts while posting a .908 SV% and a 3.01 GAA. For just $750k, Stalock was a nice signing as he outperformed expectations and earned a nomination for the Bill Masterton Trophy for his “perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey” after overcoming myocarditis.

Cole Guttman

Guttman led the Denver Pioneers to a National Championship in 2022 and signed an entry-level deal in Chicago that summer. He was over a point-per-game in Rockford this season and has 14 points to his name in 41 career NHL games. At 25, Guttman may not be a part of the Blackhawks’ plans, but he is a solid depth piece that can contribute some offense in bottom-six minutes when need be.