In a somewhat surprising move, the Blackhawks have added yet another gritty forward to the squad, just a couple weeks before training camp.
On Thursday, the team announced that they had signed former Dallas Star Brandon Segal to a one-year deal. His deal is quite similar to the ones received by nearly everyone the Blackhawks have added this offseason, with Andrew Brunette, Jamal Mayers, and Dan Carcillo all receiving one-year pacts.
Mayers and Carcillo, Segal adds more sandpaper to the bottom lines, and clouds a fourth line picture that was already pretty hazy before Thursday’s signing. It’s likely more of a depth move, with Segal playing in just 90 games in his three full years in the NHL. Heading into his fourth season, this will be the fourth different organization Segal has been with, after two years in Dallas (he played two games with Tampa Bay in ’08-’09).
He obviously wasn’t signed for the points, with just 20 combined points in 65 games with the Stars. But like Mayers and Carcillo he adds brawn. In 46 games with Dallas last season, he registered 90 hits and 41 penalty minutes, some of them coming in a fight with former Blackhawk Jake Dowell.
The signing is certainly an interesting one. There are already several guys on the bubble for a roster spot heading into training camp, especially those few who will be fighting for minutes on the fourth line. Because of that, Segal will most likely be used sparingly.
I’d expect Segal to spend plenty of time in the press box, if he doesn’t end up in Rockford. With the likes of John Scott and Rostislav Olesz likely serving as the last two guys to battle for a roster spot, if everyone performs as expected at training camp, Segal will have to fend off one of the two if he hopes to see ice in Chicago this season.
As questionable of a signing as it is, it’s still reassuring to know that the Blackhawks have all this depth available. It may not be the most skilled bunch, but it’s certainly a group capable of holding down the fort on the bottom lines until that youth in Rockford is ready for primetime.