Blackhawks

Blackhawks

The Blackhawks still had salary to shed and Marcus Kruger to sign heading into this season. On Friday, they did both.

Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom were traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for defensemen Jake Massie and Dennis Robertson, as well as a fifth-round selection in the 2017 NHL Draft. And about an hour after that trade, the Blackhawks signed Marcus Kruger to a one-year deal.

Terms of Kruger’s deal were not immediately known.

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Versteeg won his second Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in June. The Florida Panthers traded him back to the Blackhawks in November of 2013 in exchange for Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen. The Panthers retained half of Versteeg’s salary in that deal, leaving the Blackhawks to take on a $2.2 million cap hit per year for the forward. Versteeg has one more year remaining in his current deal.

At the Blackhawks convention in July, Versteeg said he understood he could be a cap casualty.

“I mean when you’re younger, you stress maybe about it more. Now you understand it’s business,” he said at the time. “It’s pretty crazy; pretty much anyone in this league can be traded at any given time. Some guys have been traded multiple times; I have. Whatever team I’m with, I always bring my best.”

 

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Nordstrom just signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks earlier this month; he had three assists in 38 games with the Blackhawks last season. 

In return, the Blackhawks get two young defensemen. The 24-year-old Robertson just completed his first season of pro hockey with the Charlotte Checkers. He recorded three goals and 14 assists in 57 games. Massie, 18, had 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 35 games with Kimball Union County and 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 14 games with the Boston Jr. Bruins U18.