Blackhawks Sign Marcus Kruger To 3-Year Extension

On Tuesday afternoon, the Blackhawks announced a three-year contract extension with center Marcus Kruger.

Kruger, 25, was drafted by Chicago in the fifth round (149th overall) in the 2009 Draft. He had one assist in 33 games with the Hawks before he was placed on IR on Dec. 28.

He will wear number 22 when he returns to the lineup this season after giving 16 back to Andrew Ladd, who was acquired from Winnipeg before the trade deadline.

69 thoughts on “Blackhawks Sign Marcus Kruger To 3-Year Extension

  1. That’s a lot of coin for his offensive production or lack of. I get he contributes elsewhere. But damn.

    Shaw’s rights packaged with Bickell this summer to Toronto.

  2. At 3.08M cap hit I think he has been paid too much given his low offensive output. Shaw is much more worthy imo of 3-3.5M. I love Shaw but 4M is too much as well. I suppose SB is rewarding Kruger for signing at lower money in his latest contract. If the Hawks had to keep either guy for me it is Shaw if it means keep one lose one. We don’t know what the Hawks will look like roster wise after the season ends and 2016-2017 starts.

    This will make the off season revolving door seem even more likely, as much as I hope that does not happen. It’s all about winning and the window still looks open.

    Beat the the Blues.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  3. Total dollars are a bit surprising – part of the reason must be related to the lower dollars Krugs took this year. Regardless, great to see him get taken care of. Gotta believe he will be really pumped when he comes back.

  4. Am I the only one that thinks this is a good deal money wise? Guy is an elite pk player and makes us strong and deep down the middle. This is not an overpay at all to me it’s a good deal

  5. wow, border line shocked. worth or not he will be injury prone from here on out, his style and effort and body position is going to get him “killed” I have said this from day one. Love Marcus but he has to play so hard and aggressive he is wide open for “deadly hits” and they will come. Marcus is great at the DOT so his skill winning face offs in the past has been above average might be worth the price.

    But look at Panik, Fleischmann and Weise these guys come in and will contribute. I hope next year we have room to sign one or two of them. Love to see Ladd stay and replace Hossa?

  6. I would easily trade Shaw and Marcus but we first need a replacement for the HOSS when he is done. He is fading a little this year . . . Ladd is such a perfect fit!

  7. Don’t know about you guys but I want to go see my CEO and get a big big raise .. If Kruger is worth 9.25 million/ 3 years then I’m worth at least a tenth of that! Thanks Marcus, hope this works.

  8. First of the college UFAs have signed. Andrew Poturalski of UNH was 2nd in points in the NCAA signed with the Canes. Wonder who the Hawks will snag.

  9. Kruger had no goals, I think one assist (in almost half season before injury) and has essentially no offensive touch aside from the hard statistics, and he is going to get paid 75% of Bickell’s salary? I like Kruger, he is a warrior and valuable player, but Bowman is not immune to mistakes. Is he worth that much money as a vaunted penalty killer? Dejardins is a similar player and he is making $800k a year. How about $2.4M for Kruger? That would be 3x Desjardins’ salary; anyway it’s too late now…

    I don’t know about this one, time will tell.

  10. ^ I’m with you on that Scottie P. Well deserved and earned. The guy is solid on the PK and at the dot as well. He is a class act who is getting his due. Team player / stand up guy.
    Congrats Marcus. (In SB I trust as well)

  11. I would not be surprised that they locked him up at a decent dollar because they have an idea of his trade value around the league. The discussion with his agent was straight forward and included the possibility of moving him if they could not afford him for next year. However, thanks for what you have done for us, we really appreciate you. We all have seen what a class organization this is.

  12. Kruger is an integral part of what this team does. Supremely important defensive forward. The problem is that this new deal makes it very hard to see how Shaw can fit after this season. Especially since the prevailing theory is that the salary cap will not be going up thanks to the Canadian dollar. So next year?

    Toews, Hossa, Panarin (for one more season), Anisimov, Kane, Teuvo, Kruger for sure—7 forward names for sure
    Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, van Riemsdyk, Gustafsson—5 defensemen for sure
    Crawford —1 goalie for sure

    Gone for sure—Ladd, Fleishman, Weise
    Likely gone—Shaw
    Filler—Rasmussen, Panik, Mashinter

  13. More than expected, but I think he’s worth it. He was rock solid last year anchoring the forth line, especially in the playoffs. I believe his production this year was really affected by the early season shuffling and having to play with unfamiliar and weak (IMO) line mates. And then the injury, of course. If it turns out that he’s reunited with Shaw and Desi after he returns, I think we’ll see again how valuable he is, especially at the dot.

  14. I advocate Phil.
    Looks like Kr├╝ger is getting rewarded for being a humble stanley cup winner with his 1 yr $1,5 mio contract,
    borderline high to me, but in Stan we trust!

    Shaw seems the odd man out now, maybe we can pack Bickell with him.

  15. Like many of you I have mixed feelings about this deal. Sure, Kruger has been a contributor, especially on the PK and 5 on 5 against top lines. But paying this kind of $$ to a bottom six guy who gives you very little offense is head scratching. I could see giving this kind of scratch to Shaw because he is capable of giving you 15-20 goals.

    Perhaps this is Bowman’s way of saying that he doesn’t have much confidence that Rasmussen, McNeil, Kero, etc. can fill Kruger’s skates.

  16. Rufus, Stan has already been on record that they will try to lock up Panarin this summer. “Kane will be mad if we don’t”

    Wrong on Teuvo.
    Wrong on Panarin.
    Give it a rest.

  17. Kruger had seasons of 26,13(in 48 games),28,17, and 1. I’m as skeptical as everyone else. But who was he playing with before he got hurt? The bottom 6 depth really took a hit. So I suppose there’s optimism that he can regain some of the scoring touch.

  18. My god for the amount of rose and bouquets I throw at Stan he sure doesn’t know how to value his own players and sign them to appropriate deals. Seriously who was he bidding against? With all the cap issues Stan has dealt with how many has he created himself? Bickell for 4? Now Kruger for 3 WTF. Whats next Shaw for 5 million?

  19. Panarin will be a Blackhawk for many years. You don’t let a talent like that walk under any circumstances. The Kruger deal seems high to me but he is good at the dot, solid on the PK and gives 110% every night out. A real team player. Say goodbye to Shaw.

  20. CEO gave me the “Tuco” stare. Was lucky to get out of there in one piece. Nice new office though.

  21. Congrats South side. Youve listed the only 2 deals that are questionable. Bickell I’ll give you, but he would have gotten that on the open market. If Kruger puts up 30 points next year, we all shut up

    Dahlbeck-just recalled from minors
    Johns-still in minors.
    Clendening-3 teams removed from the one the Hawks sent him to.

    Pirri-traded for a 6th
    Paliotta-1 game in Columbus, a team that starves for defense.
    Morin-Lol. Sorry Iceman
    Dano-5 games with the Jets, zero points.

  22. This doesn’t mean we cant keep Shawzer. This isn’t too high a caphit for Krugs. It just seems like it because we donot have the space to keep everybody. Same as it was ok to have 8 at 2.7 and 32 at 2.2 when we had the space but when we didn’t it wasn’t ok. Nothing against 29 but now we need that 4. Lets win the Stanley Cup and then see what we have to do.

  23. Blackhawks down the middle: Toews, Anisimov, Teravainen, Kruger.


    Is he worth the value? Yes. For two reasons. First, he can take the top defensive assignment and free the other centers to go into bumslayer mode. That adds value to your other three centers. Second, defensively responsible wingers are cheap. Two roster spots just became cheaper to fill for the next three years.

    My major apprehension has been Kruger’s propensity to get trucked. He got absolutely plastered every week a few years ago. That doesn’t happen nearly as much as it used to. Whether he’s more positionally aware or just a split second ahead of the game now, I don’t know. But he’s definitely taking much fewer huge hits and that makes me comfortable with the investment.

  24. Nothing against Marcus Kruger, but his contract will be a killer in 2017/18. Compared Panarin is worth 25 mil. for 3 years at least…

  25. IMO all 4 UFA forwards are gone next year (Ladd, Fleischmann, Weise, Mashinter). Both UFA defensemen are gone (Rozsival, Ehrhoff). Panik + Shaw are the remaining RFAs on the NHL roster.

    UFAs in Rockford:
    Jay Harrison (gone)
    Tim Jackman (gone)
    Michael Leighton (gone)
    Drew MacIntyre (???)
    Kyle Cumiskey (gone)
    Mike Liambas (gone)

    In Rockford, the following players are RFAs:
    Ryan Haggerty
    Mark McNeill
    Mac Carruth
    Viktor Svedberg
    Garret Ross
    Matt Fraser
    Mathieu Brisebois

  26. He’s taking fewer hits cuz he’s injured.

    I remember when he first made the jump. He couldn’t stay on his skates to save his life. Thought no way will this kid last.

    A theory on him taking hits. Is his taking hits the cause of his offensive crawl. Or has he adapted to a less offensive, less risky game which leaves him less vulnerable to those hits?

    When he got injured I recall Tab writing an article just prior asking where Andrew Shaw was. So perhaps he just started out slow with a rotating cast of nobody’s on a line with him.

  27. No chance the Hawks will be able to afford Panarin after next season. We all thought Saad would be here long-term and look what happened. Panarin will be a cinch to get $6 M per on his next contract. Unless there is a new arithmetic I’m unaware of there is no possible way his next contract can fit under the cap.

  28. Look at what happened last free agency. There was a market correction. The big deals didn’t happen. Granted the big names weren’t really there. But Franson waited a LONG time to sign. As did Oduya. There was a market correction. I see the same thing happening this year. After Stamkos signs. I don’t see many big deals.

    If that correction continues, perhaps Ladd and the Hawks pulls a Dexter Fowler. Take a little less and try for free agency again next year. I doubt it happens. But it could. I could see Fleischmann returning as well. He waited and got less than a million. That’s a contract that I could see for another year.

    I’ll try and enjoy this year as much as I can before my head hurts even more.

  29. Rufus-Panarin would still be RFA. 6 million seems about right, I’ll give you that. As far as the numbers.

    In seemingly every recent presidential election. Oil prices drop. Oil will come back eventually. And when it does so to will the dollar. When the Canadian dollar matches the US dollar, the league just found 15 percent more revenue.

  30. Well if Rufus thinks Panarin is gone then my money is on the Hawks resigning him!

    It’s obvious that Kruger and the Hawks came to an agreement last year that he take less this year and then he’ll get rewarded sometime this year on a long term contract. His future play will dictate whether it was too rich or not. His value to the team is appreciated by his teammate, coaching staff and Stan, that’s good enough for me. His gesture of giving Ladd his number shows what an unselfish individual he truly is. He’ll do whatever it takes to win and you don’t let those type of players to leave.

  31. If the Hawks can win another Cup the consequences and pain for the 2016-17 will all be worth it. Bowman is absolutely going for it and I applaud the man. This team is on the cusp of going down in the history books as a dynasty. You can’t worry about tomorrow. Not now. The only thing that will be painfully hard for me to reconcile is Shaw’s inevitable exit in the summer. Hope he goes to the Eastern Conference. Ditto Ladd.

  32. The 3 year forecast for oil prices is compound monthly growth rate of .0325 % growth. The Canadian oil fields are being shutdown. Ditto a lot of production in North Dakota. Expecting the Canadian dollar to rebound to the point where the NHL salary cap goes up in meaningful way is hard to see.

  33. It’s rebound 7 cents since January. Oil and copper have both gone up. Granted an extremely small sample size.

  34. This deal was done last year when Krueger signed for a slight raise in pay. I think Stan overpaid for him, but I am not the GM of the Blackhawks.

  35. Can’t worry about the cap or next season. Sucks the joy out of this season. I look forward to the Hawks versus the Capitals and hoisting the Cup after game 7.

  36. I would love to see Ladd kept around. He can be a lynchpin for any line he’s on.

  37. @ Ernie

    Seriously are we going to go there? The only 2 deals? Lets start with Seabrook, who is playing pretty good now, but the dollars and terms of his extension are horrible. Toews and Kane at 10.5 per wasnt a smart signing at that cost. I understand both are franchise players but seriously did Stan need to pay both of them 10.5 . EVEN if he wanted to make both of them the highest paid players in the league he still outbid himself. How about Runblad? Traded for,urrgh and extended? How about the Marty Turco experiment? Awful! Stan is a good GM, dumb signings like this show me he is far from perfect! If Kruger hit the fa market was anyone paying him 3 million a season?

  38. every other fan on every other blog on every other nhl team would be ecstatic to be debating the issues we debate at the top of the mountain:

    I am grateful the hawks are in the excellence discussions for the 6th or 7th year as det has been for 25: what a pleasure: in bowmans I trust

    be grateful hawks fans: these are the good old days

  39. Is someone trolling Rufus again? Cuz he just said something I agree with.

    Ditto for Rental player’s comments. This is the golden age of Blackhawks hockey.

  40. I like this signing–he deserves it….
    Zero chance that Ladd stays-I love the player Shaw is but he looks like he can’t fit in the future–
    I think Panarin will work but the problem will become what TT turns into and what money he will deserve in a few years. Who will be the next core?
    (Anisimov, Hossa, Keith, Seabrook, Kane, Toews, 50 and 4–Wow, lots owed and this group will be 30 to 40 age range in a few years) Its win now.
    Fleischmann has been a terrific surprise!

  41. Bickell’s contract will be gone before the Panarin & TT extensions hit. Assuming even a modest rise in the cap in 2 years – say $3 million, that leaves almost $9 million for the 2 extensions (includes the $2 mil we are currently paying for them) – should be enough

    The real danger in my opinion is two fold —

    Hossa’s decline plus replacing LW on the first line again.

    More importantly, the Hawks are going to have to get a new stud defensemen to supplement the aging Big 3. If Pokka isn’t that guy, there won’t be enough money to buy one

    One last thought, except for Ladd, the rest of the current roster could likely be brought back next year if the Hawks want. (Yes, even Shaw, remember he’s an RFA). The rest of the RFA’s and UFA’s are <$1 mil guys.
    My early guess is that Schmaltz and Pokka replace Ladd & Rosival

  42. This team wins cups with elite D, and Kruger provides that. He wins at the dot, and is a selfless leader. Mgmt simply doesn’t care about his offensive output, or lack thereof. His injuries catching up with him could be troubling, all you can do is hope it doesn’t, he’s still a kid.

    Complaining about the Toews and Kane deals again?

    Just thought I’d point that out. Hope those bums stop lollygagging and show up, they’re making Bowman look like a real idiot.

  43. Sorry, I wanted to add one last point on Shaw. If Bickell goes and Shaw signs for Bickell’s $3 million/year no problem and things stay the same.

    If someone offer sheets Shaw for $4 million – that would cost that team a first and a third pick. Don’t see any team doing that but if they do, Hawks would use the picks to restock and probably elevate Hartman to the Shaw role (similar players)

  44. I don’t see the value in paying a 4th line center 3 mil per year when you could find a replacement to do an adequate job for a third of the cost. Yes he is a great PK player, but he is still a 4th liner. This reminds me of the Bolland deal. His production reflected a 3rd line center, but he was getting paid to become the 2nd line guy. He was more expensive than his role warranted. No value. I just don’t see how Kruger is going to produce enough on the 4th line to justify the expense.

  45. You tell ’em Nick. They are bargains. They are the franchise. What the hell is wrong with people.

  46. If you consider Kruger’s 1-year deal this season for $1.5M, then really it’s like a 4-year deal worth $10.75M (9.25 + 1.50), so a cap hit of $2.7M. I think that’s still a touch too high but I like Kruger and glad he’s locked up for 3 more seasons.

  47. I don’t understand the complaining about the 19 and 88 deals. Maybe they should realize that they’d be elsewhere had they not been given those deals.

  48. Salary cap. We will make it work. Some of the guys will sign for less on a salary cap market. We have some good young players with upside.

  49. Any chance the Kruger signing is with the thought that Hossa retires after this year especially if he was to hit 500 goals and win a 4th Cup? With the injuries and the lower production, it has to go through his mind being the hard-working guy with enough pride to want to go out on top. 4 Cups, 500 goals; Couldn’t get much higher than that.

    What would be the cap savings on that?

  50. NJHawk: Im not a cap guru guy, but my understanding is the recaputre is the total cap paid out, minus the Actual salary paid, divided by remaining years…

    So in Hossa’s case with 5 years left and a 5.275 cap hit per and “actual” salaries of 4M (x 1 year) and 1M (x4years) (8 million total) ….it is… ( (5.275M x 5) – (8M) )/ 5… so 26.375M -8M is 18.375/5 years.

    18.375 / 5= 3.676 Cap year per Year in recapture.

    If anyone sees an error in that, please correct me, but that’s how i understand the process.

  51. Dave…..The Hawks GET a first rounder if Shaw gets an offer sheet for $4mm or more. I think that SB is gonna see what happens this summer with 65. If Shaw gets an offer over $2.5mm, he is gone. (Hawks will get some compensation). If not SB will sign him for 2 years at $2.25mm

  52. I am not sure why this extension was announced before the end of the season. Talking about cap issues for next year while some competitive hockey lies out ahead for the players and the fans is a distraction in my mind. Why stir the pot? I have always liked Kruger for being resilient and for what he brought to the pk, faceoffs and strong defensive play, but the guy has been challenged to score many goals. I don’t care that he was on the 4th line. He had some decent guys around him the past few years. I just don’t get the money to be paid to a specialty type player to a cap challenged team?

    Yes the seed has now been planted that Shaw may be gone. I just love what that guy brings. You don’t find that character easily. If he leaves due to cap issues it would be major downer for me and a loss in the Hawks dressing room. I find these thoughts of Shaw maybe not wearing a Hawks sweater to be really depressing at a time when as a fan I want to put my energy into supporting another Cup run for our team.

    Again, what’s with the timing of this Kruger extension?

    Beat the Blues.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  53. I love Kruger, and most knowledgable hockey people recognize his defensive skills & success at the dot.

    However no one has mentioned that he is recovering from a severe “wrist” injury, which could adversely affect his face off %…

    Nice post “Rental Player” at times this blog could be renamed “Pessimistic Indians”

  54. Hawks can’t afford Hossa to retire. One of two scenarios will happen.

    He goes on season opening LTIR ala Pronger,Horton,and Savard. Hawks would still have to be under the cap to start the season.

    He gets left unprotected in an expansion draft. His contract would help a fledgling team get to the floor without having to pay those actual dollars.

  55. “Lots of stupid showing up again. The stupid led by the pessimism of a few.”

    Ernie leading the way………

  56. Wayne, you’re the one who wants to trade the Hart and Art Ross who also has a chance to get the Rocket…All because you rushed to judgement the minute you heard of false allegations.

    And I’m the stupid one. SMH

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