It wasn't a major splash at all, but the Blackhawks added a defenseman with their first move during free agency on Sunday, signing veteran Sheldon Brookbank to a two-year deal.
Brookbank, 31, has spent the past four seasons with the Anaheim Ducks. Last season, he played in a career-high 80 games, recording 11 assists and 14 points.
The Hawks needed defensemen and Brookbank figures to be part of their third pairing. He had a 120 hits and 110 blocks last season.
Brookbank, who has a right-handed shot, won't help out on the power play (he averaged just four seconds per game last season on the power play), but gives the Hawks' another penalty-killer. He averaged nearly two short-handed minutes per game last season.
Brookbank also brings that toughness element the Hawks talk about often. He got into eight fights last season, including ones against Hawks' tough guys Jamal Mayers and John Scott.
More later ...