The Chicago Blackhawks have decided to bring back Andreas Martinsen for another year, signing the hulking forward to a one-year extension. No word yet on if the deal is a two-way contract, or what cap hit it carries. Martinsen was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
Acquired just before the season began from the Montreal Canadiens, Martinsen ended up playing just nine games for the Blackhawks. Most of his year was spent in the minor leagues with the Rockford IceHogs, where he registered 28 points in 64 games and continued to be the physical presence he’s known for in North America. The Norwegian forward once recorded 41 points in 50 games in the German DEL, but has been a fourth-liner for during his NHL career. With just 19 points in 128 games, he shouldn’t be expected to be much of a contributor to the Hawks offense next season, even if he gets the chance to play in the NHL.
The Blackhawks have several other veteran UFAs in the minors, but are facing an offseason without the huge contract negotiations they’ve faced in the past. With just a few restricted free agents, the team can instead focus a lot of their attention on finding a way to get back to the playoffs in 2018-19. The team should have a little cap wiggle room for the first time in a while, and could be players both on draft day—as they hold two first-round picks—and free agency.