Chicago Blackhawks: A July 1st To Remember

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July 1st is the first day of NHL Free Agency. So what/how did the Blackhawks do?

The Chicago Blackhawks brought in three players. They brought back pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) Center David Kampf for two years at $1,000,000 per year. Also, the Hawks brought in center Ryan Carpenter for three years also at $1,000,000 per year. The Carpenter signing was rumored by Mark Lazerus of The Athletic earlier last week. The most unexpected signing by the Blackhawks was goaltender Robin Lehner. Lehner signed a one year contract for $5,000,000. Let’s break down these signings.

David Kampf

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MONTREAL, QC – MARCH 16: David Kampf #64 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates the puck during the warm-up prior to the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on March 16, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-0. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

David Kampf is a Czech center/winger who was brought over after the 2016-2017 season. Before coming to Chicago, Kampf had 15 goals and 31 points in 52 Czech games with Piráti Chomutov. Kampf, in the past two years in the NHL (109 games), has recorded eight goals and 22 assists. He has been mostly a bottom-six forward but has seen looks on the second line from coach, Jeremy Colliton.

The 24-year-old is a two-way forward. (David) Kampf has decent offensive tools like his passing and his hockey IQ but needs to work on his shot and putting it all together. His defense is where he really shines. He has a TK: GV of 3.21:1, 68 hits and 53 blocks over these past two seasons. Kampf’s play away from the puck is also pretty good never taking a shift off. Faceoff wins are inconsistent, but the skill is there. Last season he averaged the fourth most time on the penalty kill among Blackhawk forwards (117:16).

All-in-all, this is a great re-signing. Kampf is a great middle six forward, penalty killer and physical presence. He should continue to get better and better.

Ryan Carpenter

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Image by Dinur Blum (@rabbi_d) via Flickr

Ryan Carpenter was the first out of house signing by the Chicago Blackhawks on July 1st, 2019. Before signing in Chicago, Carpenter spent multiple time with the San Jose Sharks and the Vegas Golden Knights. In his past two seasons (104 games), he has scored 14 goals and assisted on 18 others. Like Kampf, Carpenter is ideally a bottom six penalty killing. He will probably take over Marcus Kruger’s role this coming season.

Ryan Carpenter is a two-way forward like Kampf. Carpenter has decent offensive abilities, but it’s nothing to write home about. But defensively he has a 54.05 CF%, 52.79 FF% and a 51.46 xGF%. Carpenter, also had a 1.76:1 TK: GV and a 52.07 faceoff percentage.

The one thing concerning me about Carpenter is the hype on his penalty killing abilities. From 2017-2019, Carpenter, had an HDGA of 14 (third last amongst forwards), 19 goals against (5th last amongst forwards) and a 9.88 xGF% (5th last amongst forwards) on the penalty kill for the Vegas Golden Knights.

To recap, Carpenter is a solid two-way center. He can play on the bottom six and on the penalty kill. Excited to see how he does next year.

Robin Lehner

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Image by Dinur Blum (@rabbi_d) via Flickr

Robin Lehner was a huge surprise signing to most, if not all, of the ‘Hawks fan base. Lehner has spent time with the Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres and most recently the New York Islanders. The 27-year-old has been through a lot these past few seasons, from struggling with Anxiety/Depression/Alcohol Abuse (read more here) to being a Vezina candidate.

Last season he posted 25 wins, 13 losses and five overtime/shootout losses. He had a .930 save percentage, 2.13 goals against average and six shutouts. Not to be forgotten he won the Bill Masterton (the player who exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the sports) and the William M. Jennings (awarded to the goalie(s) who have played a minimum of 25 regular games with the fewest goals against) trophies during the 2018-2019 season.

Robin Lehner did well even in advanced analytics for goalies (yes there is advanced analytics for goalies). His HDSV% was 84.44 percent (6th amongst goaltenders), MDSV% was 95.10 percent (fourth amongst goaltenders) and finally, his GSAA was 4.5 (T-4 amongst goaltenders.

I really liked this Robin Lehner signing because it provides us with a safety net if Corey Crawford gets hurt again. If he performs well he may even get the starting job for years to come.

Conclusion

If I were to rank the Blackhawks on July 1st, I’d rank it as a “B.” They addressed needs and even made a splash. According to CapFriendly, the Blackhawks have roughly $1,000,000 in cap space to re-sign pending RFA, Brandon Perlini. So I wouldn’t be surprised if General Manager, Stan Bowman, makes more trades.

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Advanced Analytics Glossary

TK:GV – Takeaway to Giveaway Ratio.

CF% – Corsi for percentage. Corsi is an advanced analytic that measures shot attempts at even strength. This includes shots on goal, missed shots or blocked shots towards your opponent’s goal. CF% is found by dividing Corsi for by Corsi for plus Corsi against (CF/CF+CA). Anything above 50% is good.

FF% – Fenwick for percentage. Fenwick is an advanced analytic that measures shots at even strength. This includes shots on goal and missed shots. FF% is found by dividing Fenwick for by Fenwick for plus Fenwick against (FF/FF+FA). Anything above 50% is good.

xGF% – Expected goals for percentage. Like Fenwick, it measures unblocked shots but has different values per quality of shot or shot against. xGF% is found by dividing Expected goals for by the total Expected goals (xGF/xG). Anything above 50% is good.

HDGA – High Danger Goals Against. If a goal was high danger it means that it was a great position to score a goal.

HDSV% – High Danger Save Percentage. Save percentage when facing high danger chances.

MDSV% – Medium Danger Save Percentage. Save percentage when facing medium danger chances.

GSAA – Goals Saved Above Average. To get the GSAA you take the league’s average save percentage and apply it to the number of shots a particular goalie has had. A positive GSAA is good while a negative GSAA is bad.

stats from – Natural Stat Trick, Corsica, Hockey-Reference and Elite Prospects

contract info from – CapFriendly

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