The Blackhawks have extended defenseman Jan Rutta’s contract through the 2018 season, the deal reportedly cost Chicago $2.25 million.
This is, of course, good news for Rutta, as he is getting a nice $1.35 million raise. This past season, Rutta has lead the Hawks defenseman in terms of goals, lighting the lamp six times.
Jan Rutta's contract is one year for $2.25 million.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) March 8, 2018
Prior to the deal, Rutta was pending as an unrestricted free agent. He told the Chicago Sun Times the following:
“During the deadline, things were kind of crazy, I survived the deadline, and I’m here. . . . Really excited about the contract and to [be in] the lineup again.”
While this may seem crazy to Rutta, what is really crazy is the money he will be bringing in along with how the team has been spending their money.
Also within the past week, the Hawks extended Erik Gustafsson’s contract for two years. He’ll earn $1 million in the first year and $1.4 million in the second year. Next season, the Hawks will have the same defenseman on the ice as they had this season, including Gustafsson, Duncan Keith, Connor Murphy, Jordan Oesterle, Jan Rutta and Brent Seabrook, who didn’t perform as high as their salaries portray, which makes me second guess their potential for next season.
It looks like we will be heading into another year of the same defensive group, who will be another year older in regards to Seabrook and Keith. This doesn’t look too promising since, in all honesty, they’ve been bad. Hopefully, Bowman’s trust in resigning Gustafsson and Rutta means they can take the next step in their progression and help take some of the heavy minutes away from Keith and Seabrook during the regular season. But, even that doesn’t sound encouraging.
The Blackhawks and Bowman, in particular, need to be more frugal with their money if they want to set themselves up for future success, careless spending is what got us into this situation in the first place. Much like many of Bowman’s deals, I think he could have gotten Rutta for much less.
Even though the cap is expected to increase somewhere between $78 and $82 million during the 2018-2019 season, the Hawks should rethink these impulse buys.