It took a few hours, but the Blackhawks have made their first plunge into the free agency pool. Former Anaheim defenseman Sheldon Brookbank is now a Blackhawk, after agreeing to terms on a two year, $2.5 million dollar deal. That contract will carry a $1.25 million cap hit.
While the signing of Brookbank is far from sexy, it's a good fit for the Hawks for several reasons.
First, he's a stay at home, physical defenseman. Yes, he will play on the bottom pairs, but on a team loaded with small, speedy, softish d-men, he's a welcome change. He registered 120 hits and 110 blocked shots last season.
He's also a right handed shot. Of the Hawks top 6 defensemen, only Brent Seabrook and Steve Montador have right handed shots. Duncan Keith, Nick Leddy, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Johnny Oduya are all left handed. Brookbank balances that out much better, especially if Hjalmarsson is dealt as many expect.