After getting hit with injuries to several key forwards, the Chicago Blackhawks have hit the free agent market for help, signing Carl Soderberg to a one-year contract.
Soderberg, who had 17 goals and 18 assists for the Arizona Coyotes last season, signed a pact worth $1 million for the 2020-21 season, the team announced Saturday.
The 35-year-old forward will provide some much-needed depth for a Blackhawks team that has been hit with multiple injuries in recent days. Alex Nylander will likely miss the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, while center Kirby Dach was injured during an exhibition game for Team Canada during the run-up to the World Junior Championships earlier this week.
The extent of his injury to his right wrist remains unknown, but with the signing of Soderberg, the Blackhawks clearly believe the injury could sideline the star youngster for a while.
Soderberg has played in 552 career NHL games with the Avalanche, Bruins and Coyotes. He has scored 103 career goals and 177 assists, with 25 of those goals coming on the power play.
He did set a career high in power play goals last season with the Coyotes, giving the Blackhawks another option on the man-advantage with both Dach and Nylander out of commission.
The Blackhawks already have plenty of center depth, with new signings like Mattias Janmark and Lucas Wallmark, along with returning players like Ryan Carpenter and David Kampf. The Blackhawks also have several prospects who could make the jump to the NHL this season, including Pius Suter and Philipp Kurashev.
It's unclear what the signing means for those players, or for unsigned center Dylan Strome, but fans will likely get clarity in coming days, as the Blackhawks will report to training camp shortly after New Year's Day.