Cleat Geeks

The Blackhawks Backhand

Marcus-Kruger

The Blackhawks agree to a three-year deal with Marcus Kruger worth $9.25 million on Tuesday. Kruger’s current deal, which didn’t get done until September of last year, was for one year, $1.5 million. The deal gives the center a nice raise and the security he hasn’t really had these past few seasons. “I think we both wanted to do a longer-term deal, just weren’t able to fit it in. Luckily he understood that and he wanted to be here. That says a lot for what Marcus is like as a person,” said general manager Stan Bowman, who added at that time that he hoped to sign Kruger at some point this season. “Our goal is to keep him here. We were hoping to make it a longer deal.” Kruger has won two Stanley Cups with the team. “I know the deal from the beginning. I know the situation here and everything, it might be hard,” he said after signing that one-year deal. “I’m happy to sign here again and be a part of this team and this organization again.” He has been sidelined since December with a fractured wrist, but has been skating for a few weeks now. Kruger was believed to be out until the postseason began, but he could now come back for a few late regular-season games.

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On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated announced that Patrick Kane will be on the regional cover of the magazine this week. It’s the first time the Blackhawks forward has been on the cover since Sports Illustrated’s NHL Preview in September of 2013. According to the magazine, he is the subject of a 10-page feature which discusses his rise in hockey as a youth, his performance on the ice and how he’s handled the sexual assault allegations from this summer during the 2015-2016 season. In his eighth NHL season, Kane is enjoying his best statistical season by far. He has already broken personal bests in goals and points. Earlier this season he broke the NHL’s North American born point streak record by going 26 consecutive games with at least a goal or an assist.

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In other Patrick Kane news: Just over four months after an Erie County prosecutor closed a sexual assault investigation into Patrick Kane without any charges filed against Kane, the NHL concluded its’ separate investigation of the matter and concluded the allegations against him were “unfounded.” According to a statement the NHL released Wednesday, Kane met with Commissioner Gary Bettman on Monday in New York and will face no punishment from the league.

“The National Hockey League announced (Wednesday) that it has completed its independent review of the Patrick Kane matter, the final stage of which included an in-person meeting between Kane and Commissioner Gary Bettman in New York on Monday, March 7,” the statement said. “Based on its review, including the determination made by the Erie County District Attorney not to pursue charges, the NHL has concluded that the allegations made against Kane were unfounded. The League considers the matter closed and will have no further comment.”

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