While the Blackhawks players are still basking in the glow of winning the Stanley Cup, GM Stan Bowman is already focusing on the future. His latest move was to re-sign defenseman Nick Leddy to a two-year deal.
"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to remain in Chicago and be a part of this special group of young, experienced players," Leddy said in Wednesday's team release (via Mark Lazarus). "The organization is first class both on and off the ice, and I am honored to be a member of the Chicago Blackhawks."
Leddy was about to become a restricted free agent, but now the Blackhawks won't have to worry about anybody trying to poach him with an offer sheet (if it was a concern at all). It means the Blackhawks should keep at least five of their six regular players on their blue line this season; only Michal Rozsival is not signed.
Leddy, who just turned 22 in March, hasn't missed a game in the last two seasons for Chicago. He played a full 82 last year, racking up an impressive 37 points for the Hawks. In the 48 regular-season games this year he had six goals and 12 assists.
In the postseason, though, he wasn't finding as much ice time as the rest of the Blackhawks defensemen. In the final three games of the Final against the Bruins, Leddy didn't play more than 6:53 in any game and had just four shifts in Game 4 for 2:37. He seemed to enter coach Joel Quenneville's doghouse.
Still, Leddy is a very young at this point and has a potentially bright future in front of him. The new contract isn't a lot of string for Leddy but it's certainly enough for him to show over the next two seasons he can be a player for them to count on in the big minutes.
Leddy was drafted 16th overall by the Wild in 2009 and was traded to Chicago with Kim Johnsson for Cam Barker in 2010.