Chicago Re-Signs Marcus Kruger

The Chicago Blackhawks have signed restricted free agent forward Marcus Kruger to a one-year deal, the team announced on Friday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team.

The signing was expected to be coming down the pike following a trade on Friday that featured the Blackhawks dumping $2.8 million in cap space by sending Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom to Carolina.

Kruger’s deal is great for the Blackhawks, who have lost many players from their Cup run last season. Kruger didn’t provide a lot of offense for the team, but he centers a fourth line that offers the team an incredibly reliable line that can eat up defensive zone starts like Pac-Man on bathtub speed.

Through 81 games last season Kruger took heavy defensive zone starts to the tune of a -38.9% ZSO%Rel, yet still managed a very impressive -1.8% score-adjusted CF%Rel. Kruger is an incredible defensive asset for Chicago, who kills penalties and provides space for the team’s top lines to do what they do.

It wasn’t just last year where this happened either. In the 2013-14 season he played 81 games with a -46% ZSO%Rel and a score-adjusted CF%Rel of -4.8%, which isn’t a great number, but that was still good for a 52.5% CF%.

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Advanced stats via War on Ice.