Friday, July 1, 2011

Blackhawks War Room

This will be a running ticker of Blackhawks Free Agent Signings

Players Signed

The Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Steve Montador (MAWN-tuh-dor) from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a seventh round draft pick in either the 2012 or 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He signed for $11million over 4 years, for a cap hit of $2.75 million.

Montador, 31, registered a career-high 21 assists and 26 points (5G, 21A) and paced the Sabres with a career-best +16 plus/minus rating in 73 regular-season games during the 2010-11 campaign. The blueliner led Buffalo with 136 blocked shots and paced team defensemen with 86 penalty minutes while collecting one assist in six Stanley Cup Playoffs contests.

A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Montador has recorded 28 goals, 89 assists and 762 penalty minutes in 519 regular-season tilts over parts of nine NHL seasons with the Calgary Flames (2001-06), Florida Panthers (2005-08), Anaheim Ducks (2008-09), Boston Bruins (2009) and Sabres (2009-11). He has tallied eight points, a +11 rating and 36 penalty minutes in 43 career Stanley Cup Playoffs games, including a run to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final with Calgary.

The seventh round draft pick dealt to Buffalo, in either the 2012 or 2013 NHL Entry Draft, was previously acquired from the Florida Panthers on June 27.

Assets - Makes the most of his ability and has the versatility to be used in virtually any game situation. Shoots the puck with aplomb and can also deliver big hits. Has also played wing at the NHL level.

Flaws - Sometimes has trouble with the decision-making process in the defensive zone, as he's prone to making mistakes with the puck. That usually prevents him from seeing big minutes.

HEIGHT: 6' 1"
Shoots: Left
BIRTHDATE: Aug 24, 1973 (AGE 37)
BIRTHPLACE: Sudbury, ON, Canada
DRAFTED: WSH / 1993 NHL Entry Draft
ROUND: 7th (174th overall)

Brunette, 37, is a veteran of 1,032 National Hockey League regular-season games, collecting 256 goals, 450 assists and 706 points, which includes finishing third on the Minnesota Wild with 46 points (18G, 28A) while appearing in all 82 contests last season. The Sudbury, Ontario, native has also skated with the Washington Capitals (1995-98), Nashville Predators (1998-99), Atlanta Thrashers (1999-2001), Colorado Avalanche (2005-08) and Wild (2001-04; 2008-11) during his 15-year NHL career.

Dating back to the start of the 1998-99 season, Brunette has played the most games (970) of any NHL player and has missed just two contests over the last eight regular seasons. He tied for first on Minnesota with eight power-play goals last season, a campaign that saw him appear in his 1,000th regular-season game (February 1). Washington’s sixth pick, 174th overall, in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, Brunette has also appeared in 43 career Stanley Cup Playoff tilts, racking up 34 points (16G, 18A).

Assets - Has great offensive instincts. Can set up plays and finish them off with equal zest. Is very creative with the puck and positionally sound. Does great work around the opponents' crease.

Flaws - Is a below-average skater, which prevents him from elevating his play to a top-tier level. Does not initiate a lot of contact, despite having the size to do so.

Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 237
Shoots: Left
Born: Oct 13, 1971 (Age 39)
Birthplace: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Drafted: BUF / 1991 NHL Entry Draft
Round: 6th (123rd overall)

Signed for $850,000 for 1 year. O’Donnell, 39, collected 17 assists and 18 points in 81 regular-season games with the Philadelphia Flyers last season during his 16th NHL campaign. The Ottawa native, who helped the Anaheim Ducks capture the Stanley Cup in 2007, has appeared in 1,173 career regular-season contests, racking up 222 points (31G, 191A) and 1,786 penalty minutes. He has also helped his clubs reach the Stanley Cup playoffs 10 times during his career, notching 19 points (6G, 13A) and 129 penalty minutes, which includes helping the New Jersey Devils reach the Final in 2001.
O’Donnell has also skated with the Los Angeles Kings (1994-2000; 2008-10), Wild (2000-01), Devils (2001), Boston Bruins (2001-04), Phoenix Coyotes (2005-06), Anaheim (2006-08) and Philadelphia (2010-11), finishing last season 10th on the NHL’s active list in games played.

Assets - Is usually a plus player and combines leadership with a good shot from the point and hockey sense. Plays with a mean streak. Always thinks team first.

Flaws - Takes a few too many bad penalties that can hurt his team. Tends to lose control of his temper. Lacks offensive flair. Is wearing down over time.

HEIGHT: 6' 1"
Shoots: Right
BIRTHDATE: Oct 24, 1974 (AGE 36)
BIRTHPLACE: Toronto, ON, Canada
DRAFTED: STL / 1993 NHL Entry Draft
ROUND: 4th (89th overall)

1 year for $550,000. Mayers, 36, registered three goals, 11 assists and a +3 plus/minus rating in 78 regular-season games with the San Jose Sharks during the 2010-11 campaign, and skated in 12 Stanley Cup Playoffs contests. He also accrued 124 penalty minutes which paced the club during the season, and ranked fourth among team forwards with 105 hits.

Originally selected by the St. Louis Blues in the third round (89th overall) of the 1993 National Hockey League Entry Draft, Mayers has recorded 202 points (84 G, 118A) and 1,093 penalty minutes in 815 career regular-season games over parts of 13 NHL seasons with St. Louis (1996-2008), Toronto Maple Leafs (2008-10), Calgary Flames (2010) and San Jose (2010-11). The Toronto native is also a veteran of 60 career Stanley Cup Playoffs contests, notching 13 points (5G, 8A) and 32 penalty minutes.

Assets - Is big, strong, tough and determined. He's a far better skater than the average banger. Can win face-offs, play all three forward positions and kill penalties.

Flaws - Doesn't have much of an offensive arsenal. Will take a few bad penalties on occasion. Plays out of control at times.

HEIGHT: 5' 11"
Shoots: Left
BIRTHDATE: Aug 14, 1978
BIRTHPLACE: Comox, BC, Canada
DRAFTED: DAL / 1997 NHL Entry Draft
ROUND: 9th (242nd overall)

Signed a 2-way contract worth $525k if in the NHL. McLean, 32, notched 27 points (10G, 17A) and 22 penalty minutes in 2010-11 in 50 games with Bern of the Swiss League, where he has spent the last two seasons. Originally selected by the Dallas Stars in the ninth round (242nd overall) of the 1997 Entry Draft, McLean previously skated for the Blackhawks from 2002-04, recording 11 goals, 20 assists and 54 penalty minutes in 78 regular-season tilts. The Comox, British Columbia, native has posted 162 points (56G, 106A) in 385 career regular-season games over parts of six NHL seasons with Chicago, Colorado Avalanche (2005-07) and Florida Panthers (2007-09) and registered one assist in eight Stanley Cup Playoffs games with Colorado in 2006.

Assets - Has plenty of hockey smarts and a wealth of playmaking ability. Is a proven scorer at lower levels.

Flaws - Is smallish and brittle, which makes it difficult for him to find regular playing time at the NHL level. Must improve his defensive game.

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