So, the Blackhawks are extending the Slater Koekkoek experiment. The defenseman was acquired from Tampa Bay in the middle of last season in exchange for defenseman Jan Rutta. In 22 games with the Hawks, he posted one goal, four assists, and 51.8% Corsi-for.
This move is a bit confusing. Koekkoek wasn’t necessarily terrible after coming over from Tampa Bay, but he wasn’t anything to write home about either. I was hoping the Blackhawks would do a clear out on their atrocious blue line to make room for a more established defenseman to enter the mix, whether that be via free agency or trade. That can still happen, but there’s not much room to work with. Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Connor Murphy, Erik Gustafsson, Carl Dahlstrom, and now Slater Koekkoek are all locked up. Henri Jokiharju is also likely to return to the mix, so make that seven blue liners. I would imagine the Koekkoek signing spells the end of Gustav Forsling‘s time in Chicago since he is set to become a restriced free agent. But who knows with Stan Bowman, watch him extend Forsling next week.
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