The Chicago Blackhawks released a statement regarding Eddie Olczyk's decision to leave the team as their color broadcaster and join the Seattle Kraken.
"For 16 seasons, we were fortunate to have legendary broadcaster Eddie Olczyk bring Chicago Blackhawks hockey into the homes of our fans. We are going to miss him as much as our fans will. Though we are disappointed to learn today that he has decided to go in another direction, Eddie will always be part of the Blackhawks family. We appreciate his many contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors."
Olczyk's contract with the Blackhawks expired on June 30, and a team source said the leadership group was "blindsided" by Olczyk's decision to leave, according to NBC Sports Chicago's Charlie Roumeliotis.
According to sources from the team, the Hawks and Olczyk reached a verbal agreement weeks in the past and the organization was awaiting a signature. This specific outcome is likely the feelings of 'disappointment' the Hawks refer to in their statement.
The Hawks did offer him a deal to return as their color broadcaster. It was likely to be a short term deal with lesser money because of his national responsibilities with TNT.
Olczyk was drafted third overall by the Blackhawks in 1984 and scored 180 points in the three seasons he played with the team. He later played a second stint with the Hawks, which were the last two years of his career.