Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff is reporting that the Chicago Blackhawks have wasted little time in moving to sign forward Nick Foligno as he has accepted a one-year contract for $4MM. Foligno was traded yesterday by the Boston Bruins in what amounts to a salary dump as the Bruins scramble to gain cap space before free agency opens on July 1st. He was traded along with Taylor Hall for the rights to RFAs Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula. Foligno will be joining the fifth organization in his 16-year career having also spent time with the Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The 35-year-old spent two years with the Bruins after signing with the club as an unrestricted free agent in July 2021. His first year in Boston was largely forgettable as he put up career lows with two goals and 11 assists in 64 games. However, last season he was able to double his output with 10 goals and 16 assists in 60 games while finding more of a role in Boston’s dominant forward group.
At this point in his career, Foligno is more of a third-liner but he will likely be asked to take some top-6 minutes in Chicago’s weak forward group unless they make significant upgrades over the summer. It should be interesting to see how he acclimates himself as he moves from the President’s Trophy winner to a team that could very well find itself near the bottom of the league standings.
From Chicago’s perspective, there is little downside to this move. While it is certainly a dramatic overpay for an aging forward, they must reach the cap floor and Foligno should provide some good veteran leadership throughout the season. Chicago will likely have to overpay any other free agent acquisitions as well since the season ahead will be a bumpy one in the windy city.