CHICAGO – The good news for the Blackhawks late this weekend and into Monday was the fact that there were no major moves with a team that appears to be on their way to a rebuild.
Instead of getting rid of players in free agency, the Blackhawks instead added a pair of forward to a team that figures to have a new look when things get going around New Year’s Day.
Monday started with the signing of Mattias Janmark, a forward who was fresh off a long run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Stars. He was part of the group that helped Dallas to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2000, where they ended up losing to the Lightning in six games.
He’s been in the NHL for four years, all with the Stars, and scored six goals with 15 assists in 62 regular season games last season. In the postseason in the Edmonton bubble, Janmark had a goal and seven assists, finiding the net in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against Tampa Bay.
Originally a draft pick of the Red Wings in 2013, Janmark has 46 goals and 63 assists in 297 games in his NHL career. He scored as many as 19 goals in his second season of 2017-2018 and hopes he can increase that offensive output in Chicago.
“My role the last two years has gotten a little more defensive and I think the two years before that I scored more and had a bit more points,” said Janmark. “But I think, even though it’s been an offensive struggle the last two years I think I’ve become a much better player and a more reliable player.
“So I hope to get the offensive game going a little bit more in Chicago and still keep the defensive game I have.”
Later in the day, the Blackhawks signed another forward, this time Lucas Wallmark, who comes to Chicago on a one-year, $950,000 contract.
He spent three-and-a-half season with the Hurricanes, who drafted him in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Draft. Wallmark was then traded to the Panthers in February of 2020 before playing seven games with them before the pandemic paused the season.
He appeared in two games in the Toronto bubble postseason for Florida.
In 167 career NHL games, Wallmark has 23 goals and 33 assists.