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.
Finally the day has arrived! The 2014 NHL Draft is upon us, and fans across the NHL have hope that their team won’t blow it with one (all) of their picks.
Unfortunately, the Blackhawks have a distinguished history of passing on some pretty good players. Let’s take a look back at some of the all-time swing-and-miss first round draft picks in Chicago history.
“There’s no truth to any rumor that Patrick Sharp is available to trade,” Curran told the Sun-Times. “He absolutely is not available. I had a meeting with Stan Bowman a week ago to ask him what was going to happen. He said, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I can tell you that Patrick Sharp is not available right now.’ When the Sportsnet guy, Nick Kypreos, erroneously made a statement and everyone went crazy, I called Stan again. I asked, ‘Has anything changed?’ He said, ‘absolutely not.’ He’s full of [expletive].”
“While the Blackhawks would like to sign him to a pro contract, they haven’t yet. It’s starting to look as though the Hayes camp is looking for another deal elsewhere. If Chicago doesn’t sign him by Aug. 15, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent… GM Stan Bowman has said he’ll continue to negotiate with Hayes’ agent, Robert Murray. But if the sense is Hayes is bound and determined to wait until Aug. 15 in order to make the jump to the NHL quicker, Bowman should trade his rights as soon as this weekend’s draft…The Hawks would love to retain this organizational asset. Hayes might have his own agenda.”
The Blackhawks won only one of the four awards they were nominated for at the 2014 NHL Awards.
Boston’s Patrice Bergeron won the NHL Foundation Award, finishing ahead of Duncan Keith. Kings captain Dustin Brown won the Mark Messier Leadership Award, an award for which Jonathan Toews was also a finalist.
Bergeron also won the Selke Trophy, with Toews finishing third in the final vote.
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is nominated for two prestigious awards, and the NHL will name the winners in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.
Toews, LA’s Dustin Brown and Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf are this year’s finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, which is awarded “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season.”