The Chicago Blackhawks were one of the most active teams in the NHL when free agency began on Friday, signing four veteran players.
Headlining the group is forward Andrew Brunette. Brunette, 37, scored 18 goals and added 28 assists for the Minnesota Wild last season. He could fit into the Hawks’ top six this season, and signed a one-year deal worth $2M.
Also joining the Blackhawks is veteran defenseman Sean O'Donnell, who inked a one-year, $850k contract. O’Donnell, 39, was in Philadelphia last year and averaged 15:32 on ice per game in 81 contests. Known as a strong locker room guy, he blocked 76 shots and was credited with 53 hits to go with one goal and 17 assists last year.
O'Donnell joins veteran defenseman Steve Montador on the Blackhawks blue line. On Friday night, Montador signed a four-year contract worth $2.75M per season. Montador, 31, had five goals and 21 assists in 73 games last year with the Sabres, and was +16 on the season. He also registered 86 hits and a team-high 138 blocked shots while averaging 19:43 on ice per game. He averaged 2:04 on ice short-handed last year.
Also coming to Chicago is veteran center Jamal Mayers. Mayers, 36, won 54.1 percent of his faceoffs in San Jose last year (albeit only taking 98 draws), and was credited with 108 hits in 78 games. He'll add bulk to the Hawks' front lines, helping with the penalty kill unit and bringing size to the roster. He also signed a one-year deal, his being worth $550k.
Finally, the Blackhawks agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with forward Brett McLean worth $525k if he’s in the NHL. McLean, 33, put up 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in 80 games with Florida in 2008-09, but spent the last two seasons with Bern in Switzerland.