The Chicago Blackhawks have signed Sheldon Brookbank to a 2 year deal. The dollar amount has yet to be clearly announced, but it sounds to be in the ballpark of 1.5 - 2 mil a year. Leaving many to have seen exactly what they expected, not much happened in SB's corner, or did it?
The Brookbank signing was safe, and did not cause many waves, but isn't that what we have asked for in the back end? We want stability back there. The thoughts about grabbing Suter seemed highly unlikely, or any other huge named D-man for that matter. Plus, the Hawks are already pretty full of D-men making a pretty penny. This acquisition is safe, but it might have put the Hawks in a much better situation come October, and without much given in return.
Brookbank has played for a few very well positioned and defensive teams. I really don't remember much about him, but I do know that he spent sometime in a leadership role on the Ducks, and posted an impressive +/- given their record last year. He isn't a giant, but he is a stay at home kind of guy, who plays a gritty style of hockey. Scoring goals will not be his strength, but SB might have just found a partner for Leddy.
If, and this is a big if, Leddy sees top 4 minutes, which I am currently against BTW.
With this signing, Hjalmer has lost almost any inch he might have had towards being a Hawk next year. It makes me sad, but it had to be I suppose. If and when this trade happens, SB will have dumped a couple mil off the cap from the back end, with which I assume he looks to spend on a goaltender at some point.
In other news, The Devils are bringing Brodeur back for 2 more years in a deal near the 9 mil range. Oh well, we were all really close to owning Blackhawks jerseys with his name on it. It could have been nice, and the Hawks were most definitely in talks with him.
This means that the main focus for the Hawks might just turn towards a certain goaltender named Jonathan from the LA Kings. Jonathan Bernier has asked for a trade, and he will most likely get it given that he will never see the light of day in Los Angeles behind the other Jonathan. This would be much appreciated over continuing to pursue Luongo, and given the way SB has been in every goaltender talk thus far, we should expect the same with Bernier. One defensive D-man, and one new goalie could lead the Hawks to an improved record and better goals against stats next year. Just a few more wins could put them easily at the top of the Conference. But, will they be groomed for the playoffs?