Blackhawks Confidential

Blackhawks re-sign Cam Barker, five others

Cam Barker.jpg

As reported earlier this evening on TSN, the Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to terms with restricted free agent Cam Barker.  Barker signed a 3-year deal worth $9.25 million.  The 23-year old defenseman was the third overall pick of the Blackhawks in the 2004 NHL draft.

On Monday, the NHLPA filed a grievance on behalf of Barker and fellow Blackhawk Kris Versteeg.  The player's union claims both players should be unrestricted free agents due to the Blackhawks failure to notify the players of their qualifying offers by the deadline.  The Blackhawks responded quickly by coming to terms with Barker. 

On the other hand, Versteeg remains the Blackhawks' lone restricted free agent.  If he remains unsigned, the grievance will go before an arbitrator.  If the ruling favors the NHLPA, Versteeg would immediately become an unrestricted free agent able to sign with any team.  The Blackhawks can not afford to get in a bidding war for the winger's services.  He would be lost in the process with no compensation.

 

The Blackhawks were busy spending money earlier in the day as well.  As reported on the team website, the Blackhawks agreed to terms with Troy Brouwer, Corey Crawford, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser and Aaron Johnson.  Brouwer and Crawford inked two-year deals, while the other three all signed one-year pacts.

According to Chris Block's calculations at The Third Man In, the Blackhawks are right up against the cap as they are now constructed.  Any further moves will now require trades, including the re-signing of Versteeg who will command a minimum of $2.5-3 million per season.  Versteeg's inclusion would only follow moves involving the shedding of salary.

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