Jan 29: Bowey has cleared waivers and was quickly assigned to the minor leagues.
Jan 28: The Chicago Blackhawks have signed free agent Madison Bowey to a two-year contract that will run through the 2021-22 season. This season will be a two-way deal with an NHL salary of $700K, while next is a one-way contract worth $750K. That means he’ll carry a cap hit of $725K for the Blackhawks, who immediately placed him on waivers. Should Bowey clear, he can report directly to the AHL or taxi squad (pending COVID protocol).
Bowey, 25, was not issued a qualifying offer from the Detroit Red Wings in the offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent. He had recently signed a minor league PTO with the San Diego Gulls, but will now have a full NHL contract for this season and next. At the expiry of this deal, Bowey will be a UFA once again.
If you’re wondering why the team signed Bowey for two years, CapFriendly offers up a potential explanation. By playing in one more NHL game, Bowey will meet the minimum exposure requirements for the upcoming expansion draft, something that previously only Connor Murphy did for Chicago. Every team must leave at least one defenseman unprotected who has played a certain number of games over the past two seasons and is under contract for 2021-22. Once he gets into the lineup, Bowey will now fill that requirement, even though it seems very unlikely that Seattle would actually pick him.
In the meantime, the 6’2″ defenseman also gives Chicago some added depth at the position and means that some of their younger options could get playing time in the minor leagues. The team is currently carrying only four players on their taxi squad and could use Bowey in that role all season, moving in and out whenever injuries occur.