Of course, the morning after posting the outlook for Chicago, the Blackhawks go ahead and make a key signing. Restricted free agent-to-be defenseman Michal Kempny got his new deal and I believe he'll now be leaned upon, in his second NHL season, to really help with the workload on the blueline with some unrestricted free agents likely heading to market in July.
The 26-year old from the Czech Republic appeared in 50 games for the Blackhawks last season, scoring only 2 goals and 8 points, only good enough for 176th among all defenders. With the likes of Brian Campbell and Johnny Oduya leaving town, that should open up the number four or five spot on the blueline, which should come with more minutes.
Kempny reportedly signed a 1-year deal, but no cap information has been disclosed, as of yet. It would be hard to imagine his number over $1 million, given the numbers he had, so it would be a good incentive for him to play hard and earn that bigger deal, be it in Chicago or somewhere else.