Blackhawks target Ryan Kesler dealt to Anaheim DucksContinue reading.
Blackhawks re-sign Regin as Blues sign Stastny, Stars get Spezza
The Anaheim Ducks added Ryan Kesler. The St. Louis Blues signed Paul Stastny. The rising Dallas Stars acquired Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky. The Colorado Avalanche lost Stastny but added Jarome Iginla and Danny Briere. The surging Minnesota Wild inked Thomas Vanek.
The Blackhawks re-signed Peter Regin.
Following a quiet draft weekend, the Hawks remained largely inactive in the early going on the first day of free agency on Tuesday. And as the Western Conference and the Central Division are only getting tougher, the Hawks — so far — are largely standing pat.
Because while the Hawks’ inclination might be to respond to all the big moves around them, the fact is, the big moves around them are all responses to what the Hawks and Los Angeles Kings have built and accomplished over the past five seasons.
“There was a lot of talk this year when the Blues went and acquired [Steve] Ott and [Ryan] Miller, like that must mean that you got to go do something,” Bowman said this weekend. “We don’t approach it that way. Like I said, when one team does something it may work for them, it may not. We’re not trying to respond to what other people do. We’ve got to look at what we do well and what works for us. It’s a puzzle to put together, but I don’t think it’s helpful to be reactionary. We’ve got our own situation and we’re going to work through that.”
That doesn’t mean the Hawks don’t want to be active, or won’t be active. They’d love to add a center, though the top three available — Kesler, Spezza and Stastny — are now off the board. With the signing of Regin — who was very solid for the Hawks down the stretch this past season before finding himself a scratch for most of the playoffs — to a one-year deal worth $650,000 (he could have gotten more elsewhere, but very much wanted to stay in Chicago), the Hawks are about $200,000 over the $69-million salary cap with just 22 players under contract. So they’ll have to move a player (or more than one) to create some room to work with. If they can free up some space, some viable options still on the market include veteran centers Saku Koivu, Brad Richards or Mikhail Grabovski.
Of course, while other teams are throwing around money for the 2014-15 season, the Hawks have continued negotiating contract extensions for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane with agent Pat Brisson. Bowman hoped to have the deals done by Tuesday, but it might take a little longer. Meanwhile, the Hawks have been in discussions with unrestricted free agent Sheldon Brookbank, who like Regin, wants to return.