I was starting to wonder if Nick Leddy's contract negotiations with the Chicago Blackhawks had hit a snag. There was an agreement in principal on Tuesday and then no announcement Wednesday, Thursday or Friday ... until after 8 p.m. Here is what the NHL has on its' website now:
The Chicago Blackhawks have signed defenseman Nick Leddy to a three-year contract.
Leddy, 19, was acquired by Chicago on February 12, 2010 in a trade with the Minnesota Wild. He was originally selected by the Wild in the first round, 16th overall, of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota, native ranked second among team freshmen with 11 points (3G, 8A) in 30 games in his collegiate debut at the University of Minnesota (WCHA) in 2009-10. He posted all 11 of his points after November, including eight (2G,6A) over his final 13 contests of the year.
“Nick impressed us with his conditioning and development at our prospect camp in July to the point that we are confident in him bringing his game to the professional level,” Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman said. “His experience at the University of Minnesota has undoubtedly prepared him for the next level and we sincerely appreciate the skills he learned under the tutelage of their coaching staff. We expect Nick to be a force on our blueline in the near future.”
Leddy won Minnesota’s 2009 Mr. Hockey Award as a senior while leading Eden Prairie High School to the Minnesota Class AA state championship. He was invited to the 2010 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, from which the United States roster for the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships will be chosen.
KUDOS TO U
OK, a nice blurb by Blackhawks, even a bow to Don Lucia and his staff.
Leddy backed out of going to junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., after signing with Blackhawks. His entry-level contract was for $2.7-million, or $900,000 annually if he makes the Blackhawks.
He will go to their training camp. If he plays minor league hockey, it will be for the Rockford (Ill.) IceHogs. Love that nickname. There he will make $67,500 plus a $90,000 signing bonus each year he is a 'Hog. That's $157,500, not a bad starting wage although his agent, Neil Sheehy, and the taxman will get a chunk.
LUCIA STATEMENT ON HOLD
The University of Minnesota had a prepared statement -- with a quote (quotes?) from Don Lucia -- ready to be released when Leddy signed. Not sure when it will come out now, maybe Monday? The Blackhawks' news release came out well after office hours.
Good luck to Leddy. He was a quiet kid, but always willing to talk and answer questions. He had a traumatic freshman season with his broken jaw, but finished strong.
The U nominated him for the WCHA's all-rookie team but the Gophers' low seventh-place finish meant the media overlooked them. Nobody received any confererence award.