Compared with other teams, the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t make much noise in the early days after winning the Stanley Cup. There were the Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik trades during the draft, but other than the expected departures of Ray Emery and Viktor Stalberg, not much happened. Okay, maybe Nikolai Khabibulin’s signing was a surprise, but that’s been the only shakeup to take place.
With prospect camp over, there would normally be a bit more news coming from the front office. To no one’s surprise, all general manager Stan Bowman did for the media on Friday was recap the team’s offseason activities and come up with very little to report in terms of what was left to do. Nick Leddy and Marcus Kruger, whom Bowman had said were priorities, had been re-signed (Kruger’s extension was announced hours after Bowman’s presser). Bryan Bickell signed his four-year extension on Draft Day. Were there any loose ends to tie before next season?
The only thing left is to work on a contract extension for head coach Joel Quenneville, which Bowman said could be signed in the next few weeks. It was in the 2011-12 season that fans were calling for him to be fired, mainly due to the Blackhawks’ demoralizing nine-game losing streak amidst a second terrible season. But just as this past season can be credited to the team and their performance, it can also be credited to Quenneville. Fans may have yelled at him for tinkering with lines during games, but it all worked out in the end.
Barring any surprise signings, it’ll be a quiet summer for the Blackhawks. Once Quenneville’s extension is inked, all fans will have to do is wait till training camp. That’s when the real work will begin.