The Chicago Blackhawks and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk have agreed to a two-year contract extension, the team announced Tuesday. Van Riemsdyk will have an annual cap hit of $825,000 for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, per the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus.
The deal gives Chicago some cost certainty for the next three years while slightly decreasing van Riemsdyk's cap hit following the upcoming season. TVR will receive $925,000 in 2015-16, the final year of his current deal, so general manager Stan Bowman negotiated a $100,000 pay cut for the defenseman on his next contract.
Van Riemsdyk, 23, was signed by the Blackhawks last year after three seasons at the University of New Hampshire. He quickly broke into the team's defensive corps early on before injuries sidelined him for several months. He returned during the postseason, however, and skated in four Stanley Cup Final games against Tampa Bay.
During the 2014-15 regular season, TVR appeared in 18 games and recorded one assist. He showed some smart positioning and steady defensive play, which explained why coach Joel Quenneville was comfortable playing him against the Lightning even after all that missed time. Over the next three seasons, he'll provide the team with an affordable option.
The contract, which is a one-way deal, appears to be a great move by Bowman. Not only does he get some cost certainty on a young defenseman for the next three seasons, but he does so at a surprisingly affordable rate. Every little bit of cap space matters for the Hawks given how tight their situation is, and having a relatively cheap option like TVR helps. The Blackhawks are still waiting to pull on the trigger on some bigger moves, but in the meantime they're doing an impressive job of putting things into place.