According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Chicago Blackhawks have signed Colin Blackwell to a two-year contract worth $1.2MM per season. This will be Blackwell’s fourth team in three seasons, as he spent parts of the past three years on the New York Rangers, Seattle Kraken, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Blackwell, 29, is a safe, high-floor relatively low-ceiling move, the sort of roster decision that has been decidedly rare during GM Kyle Davidson’s tenure so far in Chicago. Blackwell, 29, bounced around a bit after graduating from Harvard in 2016. He spent his rookie professional season with the San Jose Barracuda before heading to Rochester and then Milwaukee. He made his NHL debut for the Nashville Predators before signing with the New York Rangers in the 2020 offseason.
In New York, Blackwell played well enough to earn the trust of coach David Quinn and sometimes even found himself sharing the ice with Artemi Panarin. As a result, he scored 12 goals and 22 points in 47 games, a performance that led him to be the Seattle Kraken’s choice from New York in the expansion draft. Blackwell struggled with injuries in Seattle but brought similar production, scoring eight goals and 17 points before being shipped to Toronto in the Mark Stone trade.
In Toronto, Blackwell scored just three points, although his smaller role on a deep Maple Leafs team likely had more to do with that than any decline in his talent level. The Blackhawks are signing Blackwell to this deal likely with the belief that he will continue to be the valuable do-it-all depth player he was in New York and Seattle. With all the departures they’ve seen in recent days, the Blackhawks need to add NHL-quality players. Blackwell is certainly that and he comes to Chicago at an affordable price.