Blackhawks

Blackhawks agree to three-year deal with Marcus Kruger

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Blackhawks agree to three-year deal with Marcus Kruger

Marcus Kruger was patient with the process last summer.

He knew the Blackhawks had little cash over the summer, despite all the moves they made and the personnel they lost. So he agreed a shorter deal with a smaller raise in the good faith that he would be signed to a more long-term deal during this season or over the summer.

That deal came this afternoon.

Kruger agreed to a three-year deal worth $9.25 million on Tuesday. The deal gives the center the security he really hasn’t had these past few seasons. It also gives him a very nice raise. Kruger’s current deal, which didn’t get done until September of last year, was for one year, $1.5 million. General manager Stan Bowman talked earlier this season of Kruger doing what worked for him and the team this offseason.

“I think we both wanted to do a longer-term deal, just weren’t able to fit it in. Luckily he understood that and he wanted to be here. That says a lot for what Marcus is like as a person,” said Bowman, who added at that time that he hoped to sign Kruger at some point this season. “Our goal is to keep him here. We were hoping to make it a longer deal.”

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Kruger, who has now won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, said he was willing to be patient.

“I know the deal from the beginning. I know the situation here and everything, it might be hard,” he said after signing that one-year deal. “I’m happy to sign here again and be a part of this team and this organization again.”

Kruger, who has been sidelined since December with a fractured wrist, has been skating for a few weeks now. Once thought out until the postseason began, Kruger could now come back for a few late regular-season games.

The Blackhawks will see two raises kick in next season: Kruger’s and Brent Seabrook’s. Andrew Shaw becomes a restricted free agent this summer — he’s in the final season of his current deal, which carries a $2 million cap hit. It’s probably going to be another offseason salary-cap juggling act for the Blackhawks, but they’ve done that for several years now.

Kruger was due a raise and more term. He got them both on Tuesday.

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

After staying out of the public eye since his historic emergency relief appearance, Scott Foster emerged in Vegas at the NHL Awards and it was perfect. 

The 36-year-old accountant fittingly presented the Vezina Trophy award for the league's top goaltender and joked that he needed to speed it up because he had to get back to work.

Check him out on stage:

What a moment. And well done, NHL. 

Foster stopped all seven shots he faced in 14:01 of action in the Blackhawks' 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 30.

Nashville Predators netminder Pekke Rinne took home the award, but you can't argue against Foster's 1.000 career save percentage.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.