The Chicago Blackhawks are going to be engaged in a bit of a youth movement this season, but they will be bringing along some veterans for that ride, as they have re-signed center Michal Handzus to a one year, $1 million contract on Friday afternoon.
Handzus, who was acquired from the San Jose Sharks in a midseason trade, had an interesting season for the Hawks, with one goal and five assists in 11 games with Chicago during the regular season. He had a great playoffs for the team as well, with three goals and eight assists during the team's Stanley Cup winning run.
The move could mean that the Hawks are wanting to give guys like Brandon Pirri and Marcus Kruger an opportunity to develop a bit more before putting them in the second line center position, and also means that the Hawks could be anticipating using Handzus in a penalty killing role like he was in the playoff run.
Another possibility is that Handzus could fill a role similar to that of John Madden or Jamal Mayers, where he plays third or fourth line center and provides an insurance policy in case Pirri or Kruger doesn't work out on the second line.
In any case, the deal is likely to be one of good value for the Hawks as they look to flesh out their roster on free agency's opening day.
We will have more on the Hawks' signings as the day progresses.