NHL free agency: Blackhawks sign Soderberg; Oilers sign Koekkoek

Checking in to a few small NHL representations for free agencies in the league on Saturday ...
Blackhawks sign Carl Soderberg
The puck hasn't even fallen in the regular season and the Chicago Blackhawks already have some potentially significant injury problems. Alex Nylander will miss most - if not all - of the season due to surgery, while Kirby Dach, her most promising young player, was injured at the Junior World Championships and is likely to be out for some time during the season.
For a team that is already thin, these can be significant injuries.
To address these depth issues, the team announced on Saturday that they have signed veteran striker Carl Soderberg on a one-year free hand contract for $ 1 million.
The 35-year-old striker appeared in 70 games for the Arizona Coyotes last season and scored 17 goals with 18 assists. In the last three seasons he has scored at least 15 goals and 35 points. Those are by no means impressive numbers, but keep in mind that the Blackhawks are only bringing back four players from last year's roster who topped 15 goals and 35 points. For $ 1 million this late in the off-season, it's a solid signing. Soderberg is a good player and scores a bit, but at his age and on this contract, it's obviously a short-term addition that won't change the direction of their rebuilding. It probably won't change their short-term outlook much either.
Oilers sign Slater Koekkoek
This has been a pretty solid off-season for the Oilers with the inexpensive, low-risk supplements from Tyson Barrie, Kyle Turris, and Dominik Kahun. All three can make solid contributions, and none of them are going to ruin their narrow prospect of salary caps even if they don't produce as hoped.
They added another similar low-risk player on Saturday who signed defender Slater Koekkoek for a one-year deal for $ 850,000.
He appeared in 42 games for the Blackhawks a year ago with one goal and nine assists, while having very strong possession numbers.
The Oilers defense will hurt this season with Oscar Klefbom this season, but Barrie and Koekkoek's new additions are solid deals at a relatively low cost against the cap. The Oilers have to re-sign Ethan Bear, another important contribution to their defense a year ago.
More NHL Offseason
ProHockeyTalks 2020 NHL Free Agency Tracker ProHockeyTalks 2020 NHL Offseason Trade Tracker Lightning signs Anthony Cirelli again for a 3-year contract worth $ 14.4 million
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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk for NBC Sports. Email him at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.
NHL Free Agency: Blackhawks Sign Soderberg; Oilers sign Koekkoek originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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