On Wednesday afternoon we got some news that the Blackhawks and Nick Leddy were getting close to a new deal. Then his agent tweeted this out.
Nick Leddy loves playing for the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. Expect an announcement from the Hawks on Nick's future with Club.— NEIL SHEEHY (@ICEHockeyAgent) July 3, 2013
Then the Hawks made it official by announcing that they have come to terms on a new two-year deal with the young 22 year-old defenseman. No financial details have been released as of yet but I would expect it to be in the $2-2.5 million per year. So a deal worth $4-5 million over the two years.
Acquiring Leddy still might have been the best trade GM Stan Bowman has made since he has been in charge of the Hawks. Getting him and Kim Johansson for Cam Barker is truly amazing considering the native Minnesotan was a first-round draft pick of the Wild just a few months earlier.
Leddy appeared in all 48 regular season games and all 23 playoff games. He set a career high in goals with 6 and finished third for defenseman on the team with 18 points. He already has 176 NHL games and 36 Stanley Cup playoffs game under his belt.
The timing of the signing was important because as of Friday, he would have been able to sign an offer-sheet with another team. After what happened with Niklas Hjalmarrsson during the summer of 2010, I'm sure Bowman didn't want to deal with that again.
This now leaves Marcus Kruger as the only remaining restricted free-agent. It has been rumored that the Hawks are close to reaching agreement on a new two-year deal with him as well. They are also supposedly close to bringing back backup goaltender Ray Emery as well.
Hopefully this will help people understand why it was needed to trade Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik, while ending any and all talk of a salary purge.