Blackhawks Sign F Patrick Sharp, Lance Bouma, and Tommy Wingels

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Chicago was active at the start of NHL free agency signing Lance Bouma, Tommy Wingels, Patrick Sharp, JF Berube, and Jordan Osterle.

CHICAGO – CP – Patrick Sharp, a high-scoring winger who helped the Blackhawks win three Stanley Cup championships before getting traded, is returning to Chicago for a second stint.

The 35-year-old veteran agreed Saturday to a one-year contract that guarantees $800,000. He could earn an additional $200,000 in incentives.

Sharp spent 10 seasons with the Blackhawks from 2005 to 2015 and had 511 points (239 goals). He scored more than 30 goals four times in that span and helped transform Chicago into one of the most successful franchises along with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Sharp got dealt to Dallas in a salary cap move after the Blackhawks beat Tampa Bay for the championship in 2015.

He has 277 goals and 322 assists in 14 years with Philadelphia, Chicago and the Stars. But he had season-ending hip surgery in March after missing most of December because of a concussion and finished with just eight goals and 10 assists.

The Blackhawks won the Central Division last season with a 50-23-9 record, finishing with the most points in the Western Conference. But they got swept by Nashville in the opening series, managing just three goals in 13 periods.

An angry general manager Stan Bowman called it a failure and promised big changes. He sure is delivering.

The Blackhawks re-acquired Brandon Saad — a two-time champion in Chicago — and parted with Niklas Hjalmarsson and Artemi Panarin in a pair of surprising trades. They shook up their coaching staff, firing assistant Mike Kitchen and adding former NHL defenceman Ulf Samuelsson and Don Granato to Joel Quenneville’s staff.

Chicago also got hit with a huge loss in late June. Marian Hossa stunned the NHL by announcing he plans to sit out next season because of severe side effects from medication to treat a progressive skin disorder, and it’s not clear if he will play again.

Tommy Wingels
Photo credit: NHL.com

Besides bringing back Sharp, the Blackhawks agreed to a one-year deal with forward Tommy Wingels and two-year contracts with goalie Jean-Francois Berube and defenceman Jordan Oesterle.

A suburban Chicago native, Wingels had 12 points (seven goals, five assists) for the San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators last season. Berube posted a 3-2-2 record with a 3.42 goals against average and .889 save percentage in 14 appearances with the New York Islanders.

Oesterle played in 25 games over three seasons for Edmonton.

The Chicago Blackhawks have also signed centre Lance Bouma to a one-year contract.

Bouma has 27 goals and 67 points in 304 career games.

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