Of course, the Blackhawks are focused on the present and trying to re-capture their Stanley Cup glory of 2010. But with one eye on the future, should the Hawks be quick to act on signing defenseman Nick Leddy to a long-term contract extension?
Tab Bamford at Yardbarker.com believes it would be wise to lock up the 21-year-old, puck-moving blue liner now.
First and foremost, Bamford points out that Leddy's 34 assists in 2011-12 were in the top-15 of NHL defenseman. He also points out that Leddy's numbers in his first full season -- in which he was 20 for most of it -- were as good or better than former Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith, who was 22 in his first season. Here's the comparison:
Leddy was actually far superior to Keith as a playmaker, their plusminus is nearly even and Leddy delivered more hits despite blocking far less shots.
In the article, Bamford realizes that critics will point out Leddy's turnover issues and poor positioning in front of his own goal at times.
However, he's got interesting reasons why the same issues weren't raised for Keith: less fans at the United Center during a far different era for the Hawks and less of an impact of social media with Facebook limited to colleges and Twitter not in existence. This meant less analysis on every goal of every game from a greater amount of fans.
Do you agree with Bamford? Should the Blackhawks lock up the young and talented Leddy?