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Chicago Blackhawks Bolster Roster with Bertuzzi and Others

There is no doubt that Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard is special. He played in only 80% of the team’s games this year and still put on a dominating performance that will make fans dream of a return to form very shortly. Still, the 2024 Calder Trophy winner can’t do it alone in Chicago, as the team posted the worst offensive stats in the league last season. If he is truly going to lead the Hawks into the next era, he will need some help. GM Kyle Davidson, bound and determined to find that support for Bedard, has landed Tyler Bertuzzi and other talent to replenish a less-than-stellar roster. 

The 29-year-old left winger has officially joined the Blackhawks after signing a lucrative deal of 22 million dollars over four seasons. This significant move, marking Bertuzzi's fourth Original Six team, is set to inject a new energy into the team. With his aggressive playing style and fast-paced approach, Bertuzzi is expected to redefine the dynamics of the Blackhawks' front lines, bringing a fresh and exciting style to the team. 

The Bertuzzi signing is just one, if not the most important, signing on the first day of free agency. The Blackhawks also secured the services of veteran tough guy Pat Maroon, bringing grit and grind back to the fourth line in Chicago. Other signings include backup goalie Laurent Brossoit, defenseman Alec Martinez, and a reunion with fan-favorite Teuvo Teravainen.  

The move for Teravainen is seen as the Blackhawks dipping into their standard playbook of reaching back into the past and tugging at the heartstrings of the fans. Recently, the franchise has made similar moves in reacquiring the likes of Brandon Saad and Andrew Ladd. Fans will remember Teuvo and his unlikely run in the 2015 Stanley Cup run and expect that dynamic two-way forward again. Times have changed. Teravainen, also 29, carved out a promising career in Carolina between the second and third lines. Nevertheless, he and Bertuzzi will be expected to bolster the top two lines and set the tone for the season. 

There are still some other players with tremendous upside left in the free-agent pool. Some fans will have clamored for a reunion with star forward Patrick Kane. However, that ship seems to have sailed as Kane appears to have re-signed with the rival Red Wings. Regardless, much work is still to be done for the Madhouse on Madison to roar again, but this has been a refreshing start. Between two top-20 picks and a bevy of talent secured on the first day of free agency, the Blackhawks have sent a clear message. The rebuild is on in Chicago and won’t last much longer.

(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

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