Watch Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup win as animated by incredible flipbook artist

Jared Clinton
Hand-animated highlight of Patrick Kane's insurance goal from Game 6 of the 2014-15 Stanley Cup final. (via The Flippist/YouTube)

It’s been nearly one month since the Chicago Blackhawks were crowned Stanley Cup champions, but that hasn’t stopped the tributes from pouring in. This latest one, however, is definitely one of the most creative.

A YouTube user known as The Flippist, a flipbook artist who makes custom, hand-drawn animations, just so happens to be a native Chicagoan. As such, he tried his hand at animating the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup clinching victory, and the result is spectacular: Read more

Success has ball in Blackhawks’ court as Kruger, Oduya await contracts

Jared Clinton
Johnny Oduya (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Yes, being on top certainly does have its benefits.

Much of the talk heading into the off-season was about the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks’ upcoming cap crunch, but one surprising development has been just how much Chicago’s success may save the club from taking a big step back in 2015-16.

More specifically, it appears the Blackhawks’ Cup run has them in position to not only retain the services of key depth center Marcus Kruger, but also in a place where defenseman Johnny Oduya, long thought to have played his final game in a Chicago uniform, is said to be negotiating with the club and simply waiting for the Blackhawks to free up space to re-sign in the Windy City. And all this after bottom-six winger Andrew Desjardins admitted he took a pay cut to stay in Chicago.

According to The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc, Kruger, who did not opt to file for salary arbitration, is waiting for cap space to open up to sign a potential long-term deal. As for Oduya, he’s also waiting for room to open for his prospective return to Chicago, Kuc reported. Read more

Brandon Saad and Ryan O’Reilly sign huge deals with new teams

Brandon Saad

The contracts came in within minutes of each other and both came with big dollar amounts. Columbus signed new left winger Brandon Saad to a six-year, $36 million contract, while Buffalo extended recently acquired center Ryan O’Reilly for seven years at $7.5 million per season. Let’s walk through the sticker shock.

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Red Wings hoping for more of the same from Brad Richards

Ken Campbell
Brad Richards (right) and Duncan Keith  (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s safe to say things turned out probably better than both Brad Richards and the Chicago Blackhawks could have imagined last season and the Detroit Red Wings are banking on a repeat performance, both for Richards and the team.

Richards, who was thought to be on his last stop when he signed for just $2 million with the Blackhawks last summer, earned himself at least a $1 million dollar raise on his new deal, a deal that will escalate to a total of $4 million if the Red Wings advance to the Eastern Conference final in 2015-16. If that happens, that is a total the Red Wings will only be too happy to have to pay.

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Ducks extend Bieksa, Anisimov gets new deal in Chicago

Jared Clinton
Artem Anisimov featured

Less than 24 hours after being traded, both Kevin Bieksa and Artem Anisimov have signed contract extensions with their new clubs.

Bieksa, who went from the Vancouver Canucks to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a second-round pick in 2016, was said to be closing in on an extension with the team as early as Tuesday evening. As of Wednesday morning, it was reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that Bieksa has his new deal.

According to Friedman, the extension is for two years at $8 million and also carries a no-trade clause. The terms of the clause – whether it’s limited and, if so, to how many teams – have not been reported. The average cap hit of $4 million is less than what Bieksa is currently making, as his current deal has the Ducks on the hook for $4.6 million hit this upcoming season. Read more

Saad return underwhelming, but what did you expect?

Brandon Saad (Photo by Megan Bearder /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

At first glance, it’s pretty tempting to look at the return Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman got for Brandon Saad and deem it to be underwhelming. Like, really underwhelming. But Bowman also realizes, perhaps better than any other GM in the business, that when you’re not dealing from a position of strength, your pals in the GM fraternity are more likely to throw you an anchor than a life preserver.

Either that, or Marko Dano is going to be a lot better than everyone thought. Or perhaps Bowman, who seems to know a little bit about evaluating talent, saw in Saad a player whose value was perhaps a little inflated by playing with Jonathan Toews so much and being part of such a strong team. No doubt, he saw an offer sheet coming. But if that offer sheet had contained a six at the front of the salary number, the Blackhawks would have received a first-, second- and third-round choice. Instead, they dealt Saad and two prospects to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Artem Anisimov, Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a fourth-round pick in 2016.

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Blackhawks shock everyone, trade Saad to Blue Jackets for package including Anisimov, Dano

Brandon Saad (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

It was clear changes would be coming for the Chicago Blackhawks following their 2015 Stanley Cup championship, but no one would have expected those changes to include trading away burgeoning star Brandon Saad. But with their hand forced, the Blackhawks did exactly that.

Chicago confirmed Tuesday afternoon that they have dealt restricted free agent Saad, along with prospects Alex Broadhurst and Michael Paliotta, to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a four-player package that includes Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a fourth-round selection in the 2016 draft.

News of the deal took the hockey world by storm. Less than half an hour after the first reports of the deal between Chicago and Columbus first surfaced from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the deal had gone through and Saad was sent packing to the Blue Jackets. Read more

Report: Blackhawks, Saad ‘further apart’ than expected on new contract

Jared Clinton
Brandon Saad is part of the new core that has emerged for the Chicago Blackhawks to build around. (Bill Smith/Getty Images)

While there’s no cause for panic in the Windy City quite yet, a report out of Chicago says the Blackhawks and restricted free agent Brandon Saad are “further apart on a new deal than initially expected.”

According to CBS Chicago’s Jay Zawaski, Saad’s camp and the Blackhawks have differing opinions on not only what the 22-year-old free agent should be getting in terms of salary, but also what the length of the contract should be. From Zawaski’s report, the Blackhawks would prefer to ink the winger to a short-term deal that would allow them some salary cap flexibility now while Saad is seeking a long-term contract that would carry him into unrestricted free agency.

On the short-term deal, the Blackhawks are seeking to land Saad at roughly $2.8 million per year, Zawaski reported. But Saad’s camp sees the long-term deal carrying an annual price tag closer to $4 million, possibly more. Read more