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Blackhawks sign Nick Leddy to two-year deal

Jul 3, 2013, 6:50 PM EDT

nickleddygetty Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks seemed like they were headed into an offseason full of questions after winning the 2013 Stanley Cup, yet they’re being proactive enough that most of them could be answered before July 5.

GM Stan Bowman settled one of the bigger remaining conundrums on Wednesday, signing young defenseman Nick Leddy to a two-year contract. (This post will be updated with the financial terms when they’re available.)

Leddy, 22, is already off to a promising start in his young career. He’s played in every Blackhawks game the past two seasons.

There were some bumps in the road in 2013, however.

He saw almost a five-minute drop in regular season ice time, as he went from averaging 22:05 minutes per night in 2011-12 to 17:25 this season. That 17:25 average went down in the playoffs, too, as he logged just 14:21 per evening.

That might come down to playing less than 10 minutes per night in the last three games of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, leaving some to wonder if he was losing favor with head coach Joel Quenneville.

Still, the general feeling is that the blueliner has a bright future, which is why Chicago retained him today.

Settling Leddy’s contract along with Bryan Bickell‘s big deal (after trading Michael Frolik and Dave Bolland) leaves only depth player decisions on Bowman’s plate … unless, of course, the team decides to add an impact free agent or two.

  1. suckit619 - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    We might be witnessing a dynasty. The Hawks should win at least 2 or 3 more cups the next decade or so since all of their core players are so young.

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:47 PM

      Replace “should” with “could” and add “If everybody stays healthy” to the beginning and you’re onto something.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      Hence, the name ^^^^^

      : )

  2. blackhawks2010 - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Great move Bowman, Hawks are LOADED! CSN just reported Emery is going to sign again with Hawks to remain as Crows back up.

    Can you say repeat? I can…

    • lordfletcher - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      its very hard to repeat in this league, I wouldn’t bet on it…. but yes it can happen and their odds are better than most.

      Divisions change this year too don’t they? If so, who knows what can happen but I fully expect the Hawks to make the playoffs next year, maybe just a little less hungry.

      who knows. either way, jealous of their roster

      • blackhawksdynasty - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:50 PM

        Very true, lordfletcher. LA and Boston both brought nearly full returning rosters (and had nice runs too)
        Definitely hard to repeat. And yes, the conference and divisions will look different next year, which should make things interesting. Looking forward to a FULL hockey season next year!

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:59 PM

        The big thing is they have not lost anyone key. They should still have cap room left over for next year.

        I don’t see any of their main challengers improving, in fact they will be challenged to be as good. Ducks have 2 of their top 5 points guys as UFAs, who are also getting on in years (42 and 38). Kings have UFA needs and both had less cap room than the Hawks. Kings won’t challenge Hawks if they don’t add some more scoring.

        Boston is losing some players, not making any improvements. Pens are going to lose some UFAs plus won’t have a lot of cap money to work with after giving Letang big bucks. Plus they’d have to beef up their weak defense. They also need a solid goaltender in the playoffs.

        Finally Hawks have some excellent guys on their AHL club who are ready to move up, including the AHL points leader. 5 guys who’d be starting on 1/2 the other NHL teams. Deepest team in hockey. Most balanced offensively and defensively.

        I see them as the clear favorites to win the cup the next 2 years.

      • lordfletcher - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:32 AM

        “I see them as the clear favorites to win the cup the next 2 years.”

        so much can change… I would say clear favorites next year as Vegas goes, but again, I wouldn’t bet my money on it. A long cup run takes its toll on any team, luckily most of Chicago’s skaters are young and should be able to handle the physical pressure. I still think Crawford has a lot to prove, but played great this season. Maybe Crawfords luck isn’t as good next year in the first round and they get bumped, maybe he plays better and doesn’t let a goal in the entire playoffs, again, who knows…. but I wouldn’t bet on the Hawks, Vegas will to make money from people drinking the kool-aid.

        Personally I would watch out for Washington, Rangers, Pens, LA, Blues and maybe the Wild if they get going (not trying to be a homer, but they do have an outside chance)… Those teams and maybe another or two or three could easily compete… so I say again, I wouldn’t bet on the Hawks, there is a lot of parity in this league near the top of the standings and anything can happen if a goalie gets hot. I don’t think Crawford can do it two years in a row or Emery. Not a knock on either, its just a lot to ask for.

        Congrats on a great season Hawks, was one of the best in recent memory except for dominating the playoffs but nothing to not be extremely proud of. I am jealous.

        signed a Minnesota sports fan (SIGH) ……

  3. alexbaymac - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Good re-sign.
    I’d much rather see Leddy continue to develop here…than have to watch him become a top-2 pairing on a rival team! Two years is a good sample-size to see where his up-side really is.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:45 AM

      Leddy is a very solid young puck moving Dman but he will never be a top 2 pairing guy. I say this with much respect and a fellow graduate + friend from Eden Prairie…. His role is maximized as a top 4 with a shut down Dman next to him so he can pinch and utilize his best asset and that is his skating

      Hawks did this right keeping him but I don’t think there was ever a doubt Leddy was leaving. Call it insider knowledge but clearly he likes Chicago and its hard to not love playing with that team, in that town and still close to home.

      Congrats Hawks on everything.

  4. slysipops - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    great signing HAWKS ! nick is very good and very mobile. he should be ready to take over KIETH’S spot when he has had enough and just wants to stay home andmake more babies !

  5. r8rbhawk - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Glad we locked him up for a few more years. Go Hawks!

  6. beaver15 - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    As a Blues fan, it’s pretty crazy how well the Blackhawks raise the value of 3rd/4th Liners in playoffs, then trade for assets in Offseason while not losing key 1st/2nd Liners. Great work. Hopefully Blues can re-sign Pietrangelo asap!

  7. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    If the other poster is correct about Emery, that would really be great news. I think they will try and re-sign Rozisival unless he’s looking for a big increase. I know Coach Q likes him and he’s good a moving the puck up the ice, had a decent amount of points.

  8. rgledz - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:01 AM

    Lordfletcher……that’s a pretty all encompassing prediction to say that Nick will never be the top pairing in his career. He’s 22 years old for crying out loud, he won the high school state championship just 4 years ago and you make that proclamation already??? He’ll learn the timing and the nuances that lead to being a good defensive d man as he grows into the league, it comes with time and he has lots of that ahead of him. Hell, he’d be paired with Suter on the top pairing if your guy Fletcher didn’t give him away. His speed is top 5 in the league, can’t teach that. His vision is incredible, can’t teach that either. Once he gains experience and adds that to his skill set, he’ll be top pairing material….guaranteed. I wouldn’t expect much more from a jealous Wild fan though….and trust me, I have a whole lot more “inside information” on Leds than you’ll ever have. I’ll think of you when I’m holding the Cup next week.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 4, 2013 at 7:37 PM

      I am not jealous, just trying to be realistic.

      I understand his age and what he brings to the table more than anyone on these boards. I have played hockey with him for almost 11 years. Again, just trying to be realistic. I think he is a great top 4 guy and his game to me in the NHL is best used there and not on the top D line.

      I could be wrong, I could be right. You saying you’ll be holding the cup next week eh? We know each other but the main difference is, you communicate like a 5 year old.

      Cheer amigo

      • lordfletcher - Jul 4, 2013 at 7:49 PM

        not trying to get into a pissing match with you or anyone.

        I think Leddy is great player and excels in the hawks system…. I was never insulting his game… we just have different view points on where we imagine his abilities going. His speed “top 5” could be a bit of a stretch but is elite. His vision is great but not “incredible”.

        Now talking Wild, Leddy would not be top pairing as Brodin is a better player and younger. Also, it is wildly rumored that Fletcher didn’t make that deal, as Leipold wanted to move in more NHL talent. Also rumored that leipold wanted Pominville badly as well. Who knows.

        Either way, good day to be Leddy and a Hawks fan, Cheers.

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