The Chicago Blackhawks make a surprising move on day one of free agency

The Chicago Blackhawks had a relatively slow opening day of free agency, kicking it off with two bottom six signings. Just when it looked like the Blackhawks were done, it was announced that Vezina finalist goaltender Robin Lehner is on his way to Chicago.

Robin Lehner 1 year, $5-million

Lehner had a great year with the New York Islanders after getting the help he needed as he was dealing with a mental illness. Lehner was among the most dominant goalies in the NHL last year sporting a .930 SV% and a 2.13 GAA in 46 games. The Blackhawks now have the option to run a 1a and 1b goalie tandem with Crawford and Lehner.

Given Crawford’s injury history it’s a good idea to limit his workload even when healthy. At 27-years-old, Lehner could be the future starting goalie of the Blackhawks should Crawford retire or sign elsewhere after his contract is up next year.

Ryan Carpenter 3 years, $1-million per

Ryan Carpenter is a bottom six utility player that can kill penalties and win faceoffs. In essence he is the Marcus Kruger replacement that we’ve all been waiting for.

David Kampf 2 years, $1-million per

Kampf has been a decent bottom six depth player for the Blackhawks and will likely continue with that roll. He’s a better option than most of the aging veterans the Blackhawks have been happy to sign.

I don’t see the Blackhawks doing anything else except re-sign Perlini and trading Anisimov in order to sign another free agent.

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