UPDATE: The deal is now official.
Free agent forward Andrew Desjardins has agreed to a two-year, $1.6 million contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, reports Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The deal, which includes an annual cap hit of just $800,000, will keep Desjardins in Chicago through the 2016-17 season.
Several teams had interest in Desjardins this summer, so his return to Chicago is somewhat surprising given the team's cap crunch. His agent says he "took far less to stay" and "loves it" in Chicago, according to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times, which shows you the power of being a well-ran, successful franchise. A year after Brad Richards took a discount to come to Chicago, Desjardins has taken one to stay.
Desjardins, 28, was acquired from the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline for Ben Smith. The forward tallied five goals and five assists over 69 regular season games between San Jose and Chicago. After being a scratch to start the playoffs, Desjardins was inserted into the lineup in Game 3 of the first-round series against the Nashville Predators. He played in the final 21 games of the playoffs and had one goal, three assists and averaged 13:56 of ice time.
A 6'1 forward who can fit at both center and the wing, Desjardins played mostly with Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw on the Hawks' checking line. He had a $750,000 cap hit last season, so he's receiving a slight raise. It's apparent he could've received more elsewhere, however.