Blackhawks Sign Smith, Morin and Raanta To 2 Year Deals

Before the NHL Draft starts on Friday, the Blackhawks have been busy.

The Hawks announced today that they have agreed to terms with forward Ben Smith and goaltender Antti Raanta on two-year contract extensions, which run through the end of the 2015-16 season. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting Raanta’s deal has a $750,000 cap hit, while Smith’s has a $1.5M cap hit.

UPDATE: Chicago has also agreed to a two-year, one-way deal with forward Jeremy Morin.

Of course, that is the season that new contracts for Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad (among others) would begin.

ben smith cup

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39 Responses to Blackhawks Sign Smith, Morin and Raanta To 2 Year Deals

  1. Sr. Brad says:

    Great moves by Bowman…stay the course and promote from within. IMO Ben Smith is capable of being a good top 6 forward…everytime he has been given the opportunity to play with top players, he excels. As for Raanta, his positioning and rebound control were AWFUL in his first NHL season, and yet he played well. He has a ton of talent and is going to be a very good NHL goalie. To that end, Steve Weeks contract is under review with the Hawks and don’t be surprised if he is not renewed, as his performance as goalie coach didn’t come near that of Stephane Waite.

    Interesting that Morin wasn’t locked up this morning as well. I was told the Hawks and his agent were close to a deal last week. That could mean Morin being on the move today…let’s just hope Oduya is…its time for our D to get bigger, younger and cheaper.

  2. Sr. Brad says:

    BTW, thanks for posting this so quickly Tab, and thanks for your thoughts on Stastny yesterday…it would sure be nice to have him.

  3. EbonyRaptor says:

    I interpret this to mean everything is done on the T&K deals except the signing and announcement on July 1st.

  4. Mike says:

    Nice…..Raanta’s AAV is half of what it was and I think he will be happy with that.
    Smith earned his $1.5mm per but was a little more than I was thinking

    Cap effect is only about $300k….excellent

  5. Tim G says:

    Good Contracts… I like the both. very condusive of a Winning though process from both players to take “a little less” than what they could have probably gotten else where. Im sure Smith is worth 2.0M to someone…

    Given Smith got 1.5 and Bollig is at 1.25, Morin should come in somewhere in between. Im sure the Morin camp was hoping for something in the 1.5 range, but i dont see why a 2 year 1.35M deal doesnt work for both sides.

    Morin isnt going to fetch much more than 1.5 from any team. Its really going to come down to playing time. Im sure the two sides can reach an agreement on $$$. the issue would be if Morin wants to play and is not signing cuz it looks like he could be the 13th FWD, then he might get dealt, imo.

  6. Sr. Brad says:

    I agree guys, very good numbers on both contracts…what Bowman has done recently with Hammer, Kruger and now Smith and Raanta is pretty amazing. Those are great numbers for the Hawks. Good job Stan!

    Now please dump your mistake with Bollig…thank you.

  7. Sr. Brad says:

    Tim, I think those are reasonable numbers for Morin…his camp, if they accept around that amount, will want 2 years, nothing more, so that Morin can get paid big if he produces with a lot of goals over the next 2 seasons.

  8. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    I’m ambivalent on the Raanta signing. So long as his new contract isn’t expensive for a backup goalie, then fine. I view him as strictly interchangeable backup material that it would be unwise to overpay.

    Smith? Good move. His highest and best use remains on the 4th line for a Cup contending team. Can he fill in at other spots? Sure he can. In fact, that is where is value lies. But the Hawks have problems if Smith is being counted upon to be regular 2nd or even 3rd line material. Which I doubt he is.

    I’m guessing that Leddy and/or Oduya is on the move today. We shall see.

  9. Frolik Navidad says:

    I’m guessing Raanta’s deal is two way, correct?

  10. JS says:

    Nailed it, Rufus. If Smith is on your 4th line, you have a hell of a team. He CAN fill in up top in a pinch, but ideally he is skating 3rd or 4th line minutes and getting work on the PK.

  11. Peter says:

    Rufus, like you I like Ben Smith and you are exactly right his ability to play 2nd line minutes a few games at a time and then go back to the 3rd or 4th line is exactly where his value lies. Teams need players like this because of insurance against injury and the like, plus when everyone is healthy…he makes for a damn good 4th line player.

  12. Sr. Brad says:

    Rufus likes Ben Smith? That’s a refreshing change from “he will never make it” and “is more Rockford shuttle material”…good to hear! You should have just trusted me from the beginning and saved yourself all the heartburn and indigestion…

  13. Mike says:

    It will be interesting to see if Morin attracts an offer sheet if SB allows him to be am RFA. It is hard for me to see the Hawks offering Morin more than what Kruger gets….$1.325mm. I think they will trade his rights.

    Any word on guys like
    Regin……UFA
    Brookbank……UFA
    T Broadhurst…….RFA
    Labarbera……UFA
    Bouchard…….UFA
    Not that any of these guys are game changers, but BB and Regin had part time roster spots and I believe the others were all traded for.

  14. wall says:

    Re: Morin… if he is signed by Hawks… is it Guaranteed NHL Money/contract… or can the Hawks 2-way him…

    I think people have said in past- he would have to pass waivers- if they send him down… if true- then it is pretty much no-brainer he signs… cuz- if he doesn’t… I am guessing he goes to Arbitration??? and cuz he doesn’t have much of NHL past… won’t help him…

  15. Tab Bamford says:

    ICYMI – St. Louis signed Patrik Berglund yesterday. 3 yrs @ $3.7M per

  16. morrison says:

    Beauty Clark.

  17. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Nice moves by SB excellent depth players on the Hawks. Smith is an excellent 2 way player and if given the right line mates 40-50 points isnt out of the question for him. As for Raanta I thought he started out strong and struggled towards the end. I still feel like he has a ton of upside. The Hawks have little to nothing behind him so I wonder if they will draft a young tender.

    As for Mr. Morin I feel like Morin’s contract will be the determining factor for Kevin Hayes. Reading the tea leaves it sounds like Hayes(22) doesnt want to waste in the minors for 1 or 2 seasons. If Morin doesnt come back. Hayes only needs to jump McNeil and &^%^& Bolling to get some NHL ice time if Morin signs a 2 year deal Hayes isn’t seeing the ice for at least that long.

    I think Morin comes back and Hayes leaves town IMO

  18. John Wangsauce says:

    There ya go SSHM – Morin signed 2 yrs @ $800K

  19. HawksNation4All says:

    Great job by SB, good cost controlled deals for all three players. I feel like both Smith & Morin will take another step this year (basically what they both did at the end of last year) and be vital secondary contributors for the Hawks next Stanley Cup.

  20. Travis says:

    “Smith will do well in a pinch?” Guess what… we’re in a pinch. Just like we have been the last 5 years. He gets second crack at 2C this year after TT.

    Of course Smith would be best-suited on the 4th line. That’s not the question. The question is who is the best 2C on the roster, given that we don’t have space to sign a $5M player. Smith’s advanced stats, eye test, and strengths indicate that he might do just fine.

  21. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    now that Morin is on a one way 2 year deal I’d be absolutely shocked if Hayes signs w the Hawks. Also with these signings the Hawks are presently 475K over the projected new cap which is 69 million. Someone is getting moved soon.

  22. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Sign SB please sign Riberio he is an actually center!

  23. Tab Bamford says:

    “Please sign Ribeiro” go home you’re drunk. Ribeiro just got cut because he’s a selfish good for nothing. Worst idea of the year. Kudos!

  24. Frolik Navidad says:

    SSHM you seem really concerned about a team that has proved you don’t need a big time 2C. Relax we don’t need Stasny, Kesler, or Ribero (ewww).

    This $69 million cap is terrible for the Hawks. One of 27/32 will definitely be gone, if not both. As someone mentioned Bollig is even more so too expensive. I believe Bollig can continue to improve and maybe play PK next year but this cap number doesn’t allow the Hawks to wait. Versteeg will probably be here one more year. Bickell may join him on the way out. This was the worst news all day. Way worse than Kesler to Anaheim.

  25. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Tab its 5 o’clock somewhere and yes I am a card carrying member of the Mike Riberio fan club. The guy is an elite passer and a power play stud! I can’t say why exactly Riberio got cut and if you know the actual reason please share it. The NHL has had plenty of bad people play on good winning teams. The Hawks have enough leadership to absorb a personality like Ribero, Ott or other “questionable characters” IMO.

    @Frolik last year we didn’t have a center and we didn’t win the cup. The year before that we had Zus we exceeded all expectations and we won the cup. The Western Conf is deep with centers and we have 1 legit center! We will not win another cup without having an actual center on the roster besides Toews! I just don’t think TT is ready yet and this roster is cup ready but missing that key piece.

  26. Milton says:

    I agree with Brad and others regarding Bollig at 1.25m per year for 3 years. That salary has to be dumped. Bollig does not have NHL skills even to make the 4th line. Perhaps 4th line for the Florida Panthers? Please rescue us Dale.

  27. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    These are the comments that I saw on Riberio

    Ribeiro has a history of behavioral issues. In 2010, he was arrested on a public intoxication charge while playing for Dallas; during the 2013 campaign in Washington, he owned up to his active nightlife and reputation as a guy that liked to party. From NHL.com:

    “It starts with better decisions,” Ribeiro said. “Instead of after a game going to have beer with the boys, I’ll go home. Instead of going to bed at four in the morning, I’ll go to bed at 12 at night. I eat better, I take better care of my body … I’m just more focused not on myself, but on being there for my family and helping my team win.”

    Ribeiro said that he wants to be there for his family, because wife Tamara and children Mikael, 12, Noah, 8, and Viktoria, 7, have been there for him through professional triumphs and personal challenges, helping him, “become a better person,” in the process.

    PHX GM Maloney on being out a 1st-line center again: “Let’s be honest. We were out a top-line center for the last 40 games anyway. We all saw it.”

    The part I see is 1st-line center. Tab I believe that if you can help him let straighten out and his personal demons he can help the Hawks win a cup! If you don’t like his off ice baggage that’s one thing but their is no denying the guy has a ton of talent. The Hawks aren’t a church group they are a professional ice hockey team

  28. Tab Bamford says:

    SSHM: let me offer a friendly piece of advice: never mention you’re a Ribeiro fan again. Well, at least if you want a hockey fan to take you seriously… because your last comment makes me legitimately wonder if you need a 12 step program.

    Mike Ribeiro was bought out today by the Arizona Coyotes. ARI GM Maloney referred to signing as a “mistake,” said the buyout had nothing to do with on-ice performance, and indicated that Ribeiro has more issues than Sports Illustrated and they wanted nothing to do with him as an organization.

    And Maloney isn’t the first person in the league to distance himself from a guy who makes Sean Avery look like Mother Theresa.

    Do yourself – and all of us – a favor and go take a nap.

  29. Travis says:

    Completely agree, Frolik. I’d share that sentiment about “needing” a 2C to many other posters as well. I also agree that a D-man will be dropped soon, and one effective replacement will be promoted. My guess is Rozy, replaced by Dahlbeck or Johns.

    Our forward corps is set, at least for the first half of the season. We have three players who have reasonable shots of filling in adequately at 2C. One of those players has a chance at filling that role long-term and on the cheap. So while I agree that the team underperformed after the Olympics, I also agree that Handzus (bless him) was a big reason why, and we make a significant gain by his subtraction. Our forwards are already as deep and as good as any other NHL team. They were last year, too.

    Give the three in-house options a shot at 2C; you can always acquire a rental at the deadline, at a fraction of the cap hit, if needed.

  30. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Tab clearly you and I aren’t on the same page on Riberio. However, I hope you do agree that Riberio is a much more talented hockey player then Sean Avery could ever be.

  31. Tab Bamford says:

    SSHM: my opinion of the player is cemented in commonly known reality: Mike Ribeiro is a piece of shit. Talent doesn’t matter if you’re an unthinkable cancer, and that’s the case here. My comment about Avery had nothing to do w/ talent, either.

    Whatever page you’re on e/ Ribeiro – you’re the only one on it. Maybe this will help: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/mike-ribeiro-bought-out-by-coyotes–citing–behavioral-issues-222948701.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

  32. Sr. Brad says:

    Regardless of what anyone thinks of Ribeiro, and he’s had a pretty good NHL career, SSHM doesn’t need to be told to take a nap, etc…SSHM is an excellent contributor here and a solid hockey mind…the 2 of you disagree of Ribeiro, so what, next topic please.

    As for Smith, sure he’s great for the 4th line, because he’s BETTER than a 4th line player…IMO you do NOT put Smith on the 4th line anymore because HE NEEDS THE MINUTES…you cannot have Smith playing 8-9 minutes of 5 on 5 a night…he doesn’t give up any scoring chances and he can score goals…I would love to see Smith be given a chance at the 2nd line centre spot this coming season…but if Shaw is going to be there, then Smith should be the 3rd line centre…a line of Smith with Bickell and Morin would be awesome…think of Regin centring Bickell and Morin…

    Now for Kesler, you want to know why the Hawks didn’t get him? $69 million reasons…once the CAP was announced at $69 million we now have to SHED salaries, not add them…so even if we deal Oduya, all we are looking at is resigning our RFAs and then adding one, perhaps two affordable veterans. That’s the price for having a core and locking it up long term.

    As for adding Morin today with Smith and Raanta, these are great moves, made even better by the $$$…Morin on a 2 year deal for $800,000 per is outstanding value…again, well done Stan. Now we just have to hope TT can be NHL ready at SOME point during the coming season.

    It is what it is…but Kesler would have been nice.

  33. Travis says:

    no comment on Ribiero, but otherwise, I completely agree with Brad.

    Let’s play an extrapolation game with Smith at 2C. He tallied 26 points in about 750 EV minutes over 75 games.

    What would he have produced in those 750 minutes if he played with elite wingers like Kane and Sharp instead of Kruger and Bollig? I’ll guess somewhere between 35 and 45 points.

    Now skate him 15 minutes EV per game instead of 10. That should theoretically increase production 33%. His production is now 47-60 points.

    Smith started 25% of his shifts in the offensive zone. On the second line, he’d start around 70% of his shifts attacking (which is what Kane did). Say that’s worth an extra 5-10 points. Now he’s up to 52-70.

    Put him on the second PP, and say he produces roughly half of what Shaw did on the PP last year. That’s 5 more points. 57-75.

    Smith would probably crack 60 points if he played 2C full-time next year. He might even scrape 1 PPG, best case scenario. Jaw-dropping? No. Acceptable? Yes, especially considering he’s not a defensive liability, and for a fraction of the cap hit of Kesler or Spezza.

  34. Frolik Navidad says:

    Travis- that’s obviously best case scenario but even 45-50 points for a 1.5 cap hit is an absolute steal. I would still put Shaw at 2C at first to see if he can continue his hot streak but Smitty is a great, versatile player.

  35. Mike says:

    I knew if the Hawks sign Morin it would be for under $1mm, great move IMO. Just would not make sense to pay him Kruger money. That said, by signing this contract I think Morin is saying he wants to be a Blackhawk, as he surely could have signed for $200 to $300K more as a RFA AND almost assured of a roster spot. I think Hayes can stop tweeting now.

    Cap at $69mm will tie SB’s hands somewhat, but he does have trade value in Oduya and Sharp. Bollig might bring a draft choice in 15. No one is gonna want Rosy at $2.2mm (not one of SB’s best contracts). Burying Rosy will still cost some Cap space.

  36. Mike says:

    Morin: meaniing a roster spot on another team

  37. Peter says:

    I am shocked Stan got Morin for 800k, unless Morin just really wanted to be a Hawk. Even for an RFA, that money seems low. The Hawks did a good job of restraining his value. I really look for Morin to have a role on the Hawks next year. Resigning Smith and Morin makes the Bolling signing curious in my opinion.

    I still think Oduya or Rozy get jettisoned to be able to bring in 1 or 2 depth players (like a center forward and maybe Brookbank).

  38. Mike says:

    Who is going to want Rosy’s $2.2mm Cap hit???????????????????????????

  39. Dave says:

    No, Brad. Kesler would’ve cost the Hawks TT and/or Saad. that’s who Vancouver wanted. And as Tab has stressed many times, Stan wasn’t about to make a WC team better.

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