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Chicago signs Winchester to one-year deal

Jul 24, 2013, 6:38 PM EDT

Brad Winchester AP

After a year out of the NHL, Brad Winchester is looking to get back in.

On Wednesday, the veteran forward agreed to terms with Chicago on a one-year deal, according to TSN. Financial terms of the contract were not released.

Winchester, 32, spent last year with AHL Milwaukee after failing to latch on with an NHL club following the lockout.

His last full season in the league came in 2011-12, when he appeared in 67 games with San Jose, recording 10 points. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder’s best season came in 2008-09, when he scored a career-high 13 goals and 21 points for St. Louis.

The Winchester signing is GM Stan Bowman’s latest in an offeseason filled with veteran acquisitions. Chicago brought back 39-year-old goalie Nikolai Khabibulin for another kick at the can, and also inked 27-year-old defenseman Mike Kostka, who spent last year in Toronto.

Earlier this summer, the ‘Hawks re-upped with 36-year-old Michal Handzus and 34-year-old Michal Rozsival.

  1. chicagobtech - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    I was hoping for Charles.

    • slysipops - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      from MASH ?

  2. slysipops - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    why bother with players like this ?? aren’t there enough younsters in the system wanting to come up ? why teach them and then not use them ? NIKOLAI was signed for $ 2 mil for a season …EMERY got $ 1.65 for a season….so why not keep him ?? that plus NICK wasn’t doing that well in the net at the end while he was in CHICAGO …or since for that matter ! some times STAN looks pretty smart ( HANDZUS & ROZSIVAL ) ….. BUT , then there are the other things that happen …………….. !!!!!!

    • arlingtonrob - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:22 PM

      The Hawks wanted to keep Emery, but Emery wanted a shot at a #1 spot, which he’ll get with the Flyers. Khabibulin is getting fragile, but played well last year for the Oil. In a limited backup role Khabby should be fine, but if he has issues Raanta will see the net if needed.

      The Winchester signing has 2 purposes…Depth option at the NHL level and veteran presence for the AHL club in Rockford. The contract and term are minimal so the impact financially is virtually nothing. Harmless signing with potential upside.

      The Hawks will be giving a number of young players a chance to make the club, but if they show that they can’t get the job done the club will have veteran options.

    • bollandio - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:29 PM

      Has to be a 2-way deal.. we always need a couple experienced bodies in Rockford.. he probably is seen as backfilling Olesz, Montador, etc. going adios. He’ll never see I-90 going eastbound.

  3. LampyB - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    He’s there as an enforcer, will surely throw some punches.

  4. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    The only other thing I was thinking is that at his size (and I’ve never seen him play), if he actually uses his size well, such as getting to the net/power plays, then he might be brougyht up periodically for matchups, again if he signed a 2 way.

    This was pretty much a head scratcher, but as Bowman has shown good judgement, He knows that Pirri, Morin, Smith, LeBlanc, Leland, Stanton are their future.

    • esracerx46 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:53 PM

      The only thing a 2 way deal does is save the team money if he’s in Rockford. Everytime he is called up/sent down he would have to clear waivers. Having a 2way deal doesnt protect a player from waivers. I believe its an age/ nhl games played thing. I could see him filling Mayers role….when Bollig is too bloodied to go out comes Winchester. When theyre playing a team where toughness isnt a concern, a more skilled player will be inserted. Bowman, for whatever reason likes to have a couple of tough/gritty guys on the roster but Q will rarely play more than 1 at a time. See Carcillo, Mayers, Bollig.

  5. esracerx46 - Jul 24, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Since when does 35 career NHL games played qualify you as being a veteran as in Kostka’s case? Perhaps you meant Theo Peckham? Nevertheless, Peckham and Kostka while signed by Chicago wont be seeing the Madhouse on Madison this year.

  6. blackhawks2010 - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    Enjoy Rockford…..

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