Up against the salary cap, Andrew Ladd and the Blackhawks knew it would be difficult for the two sides to agree on a new deal that would be comfortable for both parties.
That day has officially come.
Ladd officially inked a seven-year, $38.5 million deal with the New York Islanders when free agency opened Friday at 11 a.m. The contract carries a $5.5 million cap hit, which is clearly out of the Blackhawks' range.
Ladd, 31, scored eight goals and four assists in 19 regular-season games with the Blackhawks last season after being acquired from the Winnipeg Jets at the trade deadline.
He finished the year with 25 goals and 46 points in 78 games, and registered one goal and an assist in seven playoff games.
In 2011 the Blackhawks traded Brian Campbell not because of his play, but because of his massive contract at the time. So it went with the cash-strapped Blackhawks.
Now, thanks to the right term and the right price, Campbell is back.
The Blackhawks signed Campbell to a one-year deal worth approximately $2 million, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, as the NHL’s free agency period opened on Friday.
It’s a good, affordable deal, just like the one the Blackhawks signed Brad Richards to entering the 2014-15 season. Unlike with Richards, there shouldn’t be much adjustment time for Campbell. While the Blackhawks’ roster has changed plenty since Campbell was traded, the core is still fairly intact. Campbell’s return helps a defense that missed Johnny Oduya last season.
The 37-year-old Campbell has played in every regular-season game with the Florida Panthers since he joined them in the 2011-12 season. He had six goals and 25 assists last season, the final season of the eight-year, $57.1 million deal he signed with the Blackhawks in 2008-09.
The Blackhawks had about $5 million in cap space, per generalfanager.com, prior to the Campbell deal. Whether or not they do anything else today remains to be seen.
General manager Stan Bowman said at the draft last weekend that he wouldn’t rule out getting a veteran defenseman. Now he has Campbell back in the fold.
This June just keeps getting better and better for Zack Collins.
Collins was selected by the White Sox with the No. 10 pick in the MLB Draft, made it to the College World Series with the University of Miami, signed his first professional contract and now he is the Johnny Bench Award winner.
The Johnny Bench Award was created in 2000 and is given to the top college catcher in Division 1. Previous winners include Buster Posey and Kurt Suzuki.
Collins already had a haul of first-team All-America honors from Baseball America, D1Baseball, the NCBWA, Perfect Game and Rawlings.
Collins hit .363 with 16 home runs, 59 RBIs and a .668 slugging percentage. He also led the nation with 78 walks this season for the Hurricanes, which went 0-2 at the College World Series. Collins started 62 of 64 Miami games and made 59 of those starts at catcher.
Congratulations Zack Collins!— Hurricanes Baseball (@CanesBaseball) July 1, 2016
The 2016 Johnny Bench Award winner as the BEST CATCHER in the nation! pic.twitter.com/z6YW7SpJJc