There are plenty of reasons to feel good about the Hawks' addition of veteran goalie Marty Turco. He provides stability, a low cap-hit, and leadership for the young Blackhawks.
But above all, there is one reason why Hawks fans should welcome this guy aboard: He genuinely wants to be here.
Players say it all the time. "Chicago is a great hockey city. I've always wanted to play here." etc. But who knows how often players are just trying to please the hometown fans. Often times, there is no reliable way of knowing if a team was truly the player's first choice.
In Turco's case, it is clear as day.
Marty Turco is a 3-time all star. His save percentage in 2009-10 was his best since the NHL lockout. And despite this, he signed for a shockingly low amount to play for the Blackhawks for one season.
$1.3 million dollars is a lot of money, but not to a guy that raked in $5.4 million just last season. This is an established veteran who is willing to play for less than half of what Antti Niemi was awarded at arbitration last week. That, Blackhawks fans, is commitment (to the Indian).
Make no mistake, Turco had other options. Plenty of them. Turco's agent Kurt Overhardt confirmed that yesterday: "We turned down more money, we turned down bigger term because we knew that playing in Chicago could be a possibility."
How good does that sound? For a couple of years now we've heard the Hawks brass emphasize that they want Chicago to be looked at as one of the top destinations in the league for free agents. This Turco signing confirms that they've reached their goal.
The 2010-2011 Blackhawks are going to have a new look. That's actually an understatement; nearly half of the team that took the ice for Game 6 in Philadelphia will be missing this October.
But this team is going to be very hungry. There will be young players fighting for spots, returning players trying to remain atop the NHL's elite, and new additions trying to help Chicago defend their Stanley Cup.
These Blackhawks might not have the depth of last year's team, but they won't lack heart. There will be a new crop of players that fans will find themselves wanting to root for.
Marty Turco should be at the top of that list already.
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