Report: Blackhawks, Gustafsson Close On 2-Year Extension

Don’t ask us why, but according to Mike Kelly (of TSN and the NHL Network) the Hawks apparently think enough of Gustafsson to bring him back with an AAV between $1.1-1.25M per.

53 thoughts on “Report: Blackhawks, Gustafsson Close On 2-Year Extension

  1. See I was right… they are trying to TANK next year too!!!

    2019 #1 pick!!!
    Jack Hughes

    Let’s Blow Hawks!

  2. Wait … WHAT? Maybe I’m confused because I thought Gustafsson was the d-man who wears the #56 jersey and can regularly be seen playing piss poor defense for the Hawks. Obviously this Gustafsson fellow must be someone else because surely Stan wouldn’t spend twice as much that he needs to for a d-man who can’t play defense.

  3. If your going to keep him will it be a 2 way contract. For the rest of this season play him with Seabrook they seem to have a little chemistry. Keep their minutes to around 17 per game. He isn’t the worst defensemen on this roster and can provide some depth.

  4. Utter madness if this is true. He may be the worst defenseman (if you can call him that) in the entire league. Stan must be hearing voices.

  5. This is Bowman’s great failure in his tenure as GM. Defensemen.

    He inherited Duncan Keith, Seabrook, and Hjarlmrsson. His high point was trading for Oduya, who helped win 2 Cups. But from the Campoli’s to the Osterle’s to Gus, he has paraded into Chicago a veritable clown car of fringe NHL defenseman.

    He has not drafted and developed one top 6 Blackhawks defenseman in his tenure. Maybe the best one, Stephan Johns, is playing for Dallas because he was holding out trading Sharp at the draft and then waiting too long until there were no buyers just before the season started.

    Kuddos on the Barker for Leddy trade. And maybe on the trade to get Forsling. But he was named GM in 2009, and our last quality NHL defensmen we drafted and developed is still Hammer who was drafted in 2005. Johns was drafted in 2010.

  6. Urgh, Stan is really making it hard not to justify him being launched after this season. Why would you double his salary? what has he done to justify that? Good God Man wake up!

  7. What if, say, Stan is able to trade Gus’ partner this offseason? $1.25m for Gus doesn’t look so bad if Bowman is able to use our new wealth of cap space on a premier defenseman.

  8. Bowman is not totally to blame RE: this matter. He signed someone last year who the vast majority of us agree looks like a steady (at worst) 5-6 pairing durable guy w/ some grit and offensive skillset, but Q despised him, so Mr. Kempny goes to Washington.

    I’m not saying let’s have a parade for Bowman as to his D-men related transactions over the years, but Q is on the float sharing blame with him.

  9. I thought I had heard some comment from Foley in yesterday’s game about him being signed or potentially being signed. I then thought I had misheard.

    If this is true I am stymied.

  10. I agree that Q has not helped the D situation over the past few years.

    If you want borderline D men to play steady hockey it makes sense to be consistent with them. Moving them in and out of the lineup and getting them to play with different partners and even on different sides each game can’t possibly help.

    Sure, Q has not had a great set of D but I can’t help but think they, as a group, would play better with better management from Q.

  11. Well he isn’t paying him that for depth in Rockford, so either he wants him as depth on roster if they go with 8D again or he is signing him thinking he can move him.

  12. I guess I’m in the minority but don’t think this guy is that bad-they need someone. I was shocked when Oesterle let that guy score without laying a hand on him last game—now that was really scary. Have you seen 2 play lately? A reminder Seabs hit is about 7 million in the year 2023-24.
    To call him the worst defenseman in the league is silly.
    Really a little over 1 million per year is that upsetting? As someone once said-“Try some de-caf please”

    I do agree that a priority is to draft a true top 2 guy and it isn’t Gus, and that one of the big mistakes is thinking 2 and 7 could play forever.

  13. Q played over 800 games in the NHL as a defenseman. When Mike Babcock, Mr. smart guy hockey coach, was filling out his Canadian 2016 Canada Cup coaching staff, had Q coach the defensemen. He could have picked any Canadian coach in the world, and he picked Q. I think when it comes to defensemen, Q knows what the hell he is doing.

    Who has he been wrong about so far? I would say the biggest criticism is you could say he didn’t give Leddy top 4 minutes, and he went on to blossom in that role with the NYI. And he didn’t give Daley much of a chance to play, and he went on to win 2 Cups in Pittsburg. But Leddy was behind a prime Keith, Seabs, Hammer, Oduya.

    Some posters maintain he was wrong on Kempny. Time will tell, we shall see, and maybe he was. But his track record is stunningly good with this. If there is one thing Q knows, it is how to play defense at the NHL level. Hammer credited him with teaching him how to use his stick to take away passing lanes.

    What you see on the Hawks D this year is trying to make chicken salad out of chicken $#!@

  14. A bit to high of an aav but if he stays on the bottom pair or at number 7 I can get behind it.

    Still need a top a 4 dman this upcoming offseason.

  15. MRFEN- We need 3 top four defensemen. Keith is probably a 2/3 at this stage of his career. The rest of the guys are 5/6/7’s. I do think Forsling has the potential to be a 3/4 defenseman down the road.

  16. If this means Gus is the 7th D behind 2, 7, 5, Forsling and the 2 new NHL D men that better acquire then I’m ok with it

    If the Hawks think he can fill that role better than Rutta or Osterele fine – but that’s it. I don’t want him top 6.

  17. HEREISMIKE, are you on the Hawk payroll? How can you not think that Q should take some criticism.

    Did you watch Q put Keith out on the PP game after game despite his inability to shoot or receive a pass?

    We all know Q is a good coach. We also know he isn’t perfect and has made some poor decisions. Perhaps making chicken salad out of chicken $#!@ isn’t possible. However, it is his job to maximize what he has. I don’t think he has done that over the last few years that and I’m sure there are some current and former Hawk players that agree.

  18. BLS I definitely do not think Q is beyond criticism. I just think that if you argument is we want more of Kempny and less of Duncan Keith you are on a slippery slope.

  19. Hereismike’s first post is spot on. In 2016, in speaking to a life-long season ticket-holder, I said that Bowman has not done a good job of recruiting talent. He answered that I was crazy and that Bowman was the best GM. When I commented that all the core players were Tallon’s boys he didn’t (make that couldn’t) answer.

    That’s right, Bowman overplayed his hand by asking too much for Sharp and then had to throw in a quality prospect in Johns. But then Bowman showed he can also be a magician. The players he received (Daley and Garbutt) were later traded. In the end, the players received in return disappeared.

  20. the “Tallon drafted the core” and “Bowman can’t draft/recruit players” lines of arguing are actually…. hilarious.

    Current Team Leaders – Points:
    1. Kane (Tallon)
    2. Schmaltz (Bowman – draft)
    3. Toews (Tallon)
    4. DeBrincat (Bowman – draft)
    5. Keith (Mike Smith)
    6. Saad (Bowman – draft/trade)
    7. Anisimov (Bowman – trade)
    8. Hartman* (Bowman – draft)
    9. Hinostroza (Bowman – draft)
    10. Seabrook (Mike Smith)

    So please, continue to enlighten me about how this is still Dale Tallon’s team 8 years later.

  21. Call me old school, but I still expect a certain level of proficiency to (1) get hired for a job, and (2) earn an increase in salary. If you’re a crane operator you’re expected to actually know how to operate the crane with enough proficiency to do the job required. If you do it consistently well enough you can earn an increase in salary. If you’re a surgeon, you’re expected to successfully perform the surgery without killing the patient. And so on. These things seem self evident to this old school guy.

    If you play hockey for a living as a defense man, you’re expected to play defense at a certain proficiency level. If you play forward, defensive proficiency may be optional, but it’s a requirement if your job is defense man.

    Gustafsson is a defense man, or so he claims to be. His best assets as far as I can tell is he skates well and has good instincts in the offensive zone. His best asset in the defensive zone is using his stick to break up plays – he does that fairly well. However, after he breaks up a play with his stick, most times the puck still needs to be cleared out of the d-zone and this is where Gustafsson is deficient. He isn’t physical or tenacious enough to win board battles and when he does retrieve the puck before the opponent gets it, he makes bad decisions on what to do with the puck with a much higher frequency than is acceptable at the NHL level.

    I wouldn’t want Gustafsson back at his current cap his, let alone at an even larger cap hit.

  22. Tab, I made my comment before the 2016-17 season, when Schmaltz, Hino, Hartman, and DCat (who was drafted the night before) weren’t yet brought up. I do remember giving credit to Bowman for Saad (already traded) and Panarin. No doubt, Schmaltz was Bowman’s best pick. I have stated on many posts that 88, 8, 12, and 48 are the new core to build around. Having said that, in more than eight years since Bowman has taken over, I am counting just six exceptional picks/signings.

    Let’s look at G and D. Where are any quality players recruited by Bowman?

  23. fyi Leddy has the second worst +/- in the entire league; though we all agree it is somewhat of a bunk statistic.

  24. JT: 17 Goals, 26 Assists for 43 points in 66 Games.

    TT: 19 Goals, 33 Assists for 52 points in 66 Games.

    Is Toews done? Like, the guy has these short bursts of being productive, but it seems like he’s super frustrated that he’s not able to do it consistently and can’t dig himself out of it.

    He’s a -11 since February 1st.

    stole these from another web/blog…

    another good one…

    Toews is dodging and avoiding Hossa’s texts and calls… Hossa wants Half of Toew’s salary!

  25. Resigning this guy is deflating. It seriously feels like when Runblad got re-signed. All you want to do is get rid of the guy and when the opportunity comes Stan not only doesn’t do that but re-ups him for two years and too much. He is repeating the same mistake over and over (everyone sees it). I think his credibility is really falling.

  26. Dale Talon was the Director of Player Personnel when Keith and Seabrook were selected so I am sure he had some input.

  27. He’d be a cost-controlled D6 who meets expectations — basically, he’s the guy in the Rozsival role, but much younger. Nobody’s asking him to be a top-four guy. A move like this, at least in theory, should help management pursue a quality free-agent D who can make a difference.

  28. You want telling stat, Haeks dmen 2018
    Tkwy Gvwy
    Franson 7 21
    Keith 31 62
    Seabrook 22 54
    Oesterle 10 34
    Murphy 12 22
    Gustafsson 4 13
    Rutta 9 32
    Forsling 18 38
    Kempny 5 25
    Dahlstrom 2 6
    Total 120 307
    Leddy 15 45 if was still here

  29. 56 has not been terrible but has not seemingly played well enough or shown enough (to me) to warrant an AAV of 1 or 1.25 MM. It just seems like cap money is going to be so freaking precious in trying to retool that every penny will count.

    I’m wondering what they are thinking about re: Connor Murphy for next year?

  30. Bowman’s trading of Sharp to Dallas was one of his better NHL player ready trades. He needed to dump the salary and received a decent D-man and a solid 4th line player. Q wasn’t a fan of either player, particularly Daley. Bowman has made his share of blunders, but blame must be apportioned fairly; in that case (and in others) Q didn’t warm up to either player, that’s on Q. There is no gray area w/ him, if he likes a player (let’s use the current roster – Oesterle), there will be chances and chances galore down a bottomless pit. If Q doesn’t like a player (again, this year’s roster – Kempny), enjoy the press box until you leave town.

    This is the way of the Hawks. For better or for worse.

    Agree w/ 1961 RE: Tallon as to Seabrook & Keith, same goes for drafting of Crawford. Mike Smith was busy reading poetry and scouting Russians while Tallon was doing his job. As a wholly unrelated aside, Florida is hot. Little did we all know the highlight of the season in the UC was the ovation Tallon received at the draft last summer. Memories………

  31. I think the best reason to get rid of Bowman would be to help us move beyond the (yawn) Tallon vs. Bowman debate.

    Soon thereafter, on July 14, 2009, the Blackhawks demoted Tallon to the position of senior advisor, while Stan Bowman, son of Scotty Bowman, was promoted to general manager.
    -almost 10 years ago>>>>>>>>

  32. Please say it ain’t so… This signing makes no sense.

    For all the Tallon worshippers – remind me who selected Kyle Beach ahead of Erik Karlsson and Tyler Myers?

  33. Mudturtle, thanks. Give Bowman credit for Raanta and Darling NHL-quality backups.

    Tallon deserved to be demoted when he didn’t get his offers out on time, incurring a penalty, and also poorly managed the cap. At least he was involved when Keith, Byfuglien (our biggest loss) Seabrook, Brouwer, Hjalmarsson, and Crawford were selected, five of them after the first round. I don’t give him credit for Kane and Toews because they were no-brainers, like Michael Jordan. But they sure made him look like a GM genius. Barker (3), Skille (7), Beach (11), and Olsen (28) were busts – no excuse for so many high-selection misses.

  34. Bowman’s job with young players is to pick/trade for potential talent. It is the coaching staff who develops the potential into NHL talent. On that score, to say SB has not developed talent is wrong. Conversely, without a top 20

    Further, Tallon’s last 5 picks he had numbers 3, 7, 3, 1, 11

    SB has had only two sub 20 draft picks in his 9 years. 28, 24, 18, 18, 30, 20, 30(traded), 24(traded) and 29. It is not easy to build a core with those picks

    SB WAS a great GM and a master of CAP manipulation. But the CAP has caught up with him and it is time to reset. So let’s hope he does a better job going forward.

  35. Soderlund got a nice write up in Hockey News-under title “Speed Demon..” As people have mentioned this may have been a steal at #112, which emphasizes after the first few picks, the 4th or 6th round may get you a better player than 1st or 2nd round.
    We need to get lucky and get a Duncan Keith (54th overall) and Hammer clone (#108)

    Drafting is where hard work, and gut feel meets luck.


    Or we can play conspiracy theory and blame SB for not sending the offers out in time. If heard that theory over the years. Who knows if its true. Tallon has a great eye for talent but was too loyal to his guys. In my opinion SB track record is spotty at best. I cant help but feel like his father was way more involved then fans had been lead to believe. His biggest failure has been the contracts he’s handed out ie… Bickell, Runblad, Toews & Kane (way over market value) and worst of all Seabroke. I fully expect some of the front office staff to be fired in the offseason.

  37. Yeah Noonan i hope Soderlund and Ejdsell get a good look this off season. They both have potential to be an asset if they are ready for nhl.

  38. aaaaand we’re back on the “Wall only talks about the decline of Toews” crap again. Yippee!

    Reminder: if the Blackhawks hadn’t traded Teuvo, Panarin never happens in the first place. I know y’all love to ignore context when rewriting history, but it was necessary. Painful, no question. But needed to happen so they could add Panarin.

    Also, for those ignoring context, Teuvo would have been gone for nothing in the expansion draft. And would probably have 70 points in Vegas.

  39. “Dale Tallon was the Director of Player Personnel when Keith and Seabrook were selected so I am sure he had some input.”

    Was Stan Bowman on Tallon’s staff when Kane and/or Toews was selected?

    Let’s not be arbitrary with how/where we give credit to guys…

  40. Tab is spot on with the fact that Teuvo had to go due to his new contract and cap considerations. The Bickell trade forced moving him one year ahead of time, but it was inevitable.

    The Sharp deal was a different animal, and the organization botched that one by waiting too long. Not sure if it is all on Bowman or if the Hawks complex decision making team could not agree on adequate compensation at the draft. The end result is we screwed ourselves and lost Stephan Johns. Which still sucks.

  41. Whoever said Toews and Kane were no brainers in the draft is way off base. Go back and look at Toews draft year. Top of the first round was crowded with guys considered about equal.

    Backstrom, Kessel, and Brassard, all who went after Toews, were ranked right up there with him. The Hawks made not a good, a GREAT pick to get Toews 3rd in that 2006 draft.

  42. Hereismike, I have read articles in recent years stating that he Blackhawks were fortunate that Toews was available at the 3rd pick. You may be right about the three that you mention. In any case, it is much more difficult to draft at much lower positions, like the other great selections made on Tallon’s watch.

    The Teuvo/Bickell trade was necessary and a good one for us. As Tab states, Panarin doesn’t happen without it. Panarin is twice the player as Taravainen. If one of the two picks we received from this trade make the team, it’s a big win.

  43. re: Mitchell next year – if the Blackhawks prioritize Jokiharju & GIlbert this offseason (which would be my guess) it opens the door for Mitchell to return to DU for another season – which wouldn’t be a bad thing. They’re a tremendously well coached team. I would be more inclined to think the Hawks sign Blake Hillman off that roster right now. They still have Mitchell’s rights until he decides to come out.

    That said, he’s good enough that should the Blackhawks pursue him this summer and he decides to go pro I would be thrilled to have him as an option for the NHL club. I haven’t been as high on a blue line prospect since Leddy.

  44. Who knew that there would be so much interest in a 6 or 7 slot dman. I’d atill argue that the d can be salvaged by a solid 1st pairing addition. Just my $.02

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