The Blackhawks have signed Bowling Green defenseman Nolan Valleau to a two-year deal, the team announced Tuesday.
“I want to thank Nolan for his time at Bowling Green,” BGSU coach Chris Bergeron said via BGSUHockey.com. “We wish him well as he transitions into his professional career.”
Valleau, 22, registered two goals and a team-high 17 assists in 39 regular-season games as a redshirt freshman with the Falcons last season. His 19 points ranked second on the team's blue line, and seventh among defenseman in the conference, good enough to be selected to the WCHA All-Rookie Team.
The 6-foot-1 defenseman is known for his offensive prowess, but he also isn't afraid to make sacrifices in his own end.
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Valleau finished third on the team in blocked shots (37), and played an important role on the second-ranked penalty kill unit in the country.
Valleau skated with the Blackhawks as a free agent during their developmental camp this summer.
While he will likely spend the season developing in Rockford, it's a nice signing for the salary cap-strapped Blackhawks, who add some organizational depth to their blue line after trading away prospects Klas Dahlbeck and Stephen Johns.
After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.
Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.
"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.
"What was said this time around crossed the line."
The Capitals released a statement about the incident:
"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."
The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.
Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.
"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."
The Capitals released the full interview.
Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.
Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.
Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:
After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:
Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: