The Blackhawks re-signed goaltender Malcolm Subban to a two-year deal, $1.7 million contract Friday after they did not extend him a qualifying offer.
“The offer came up and I took it,” Subban said in a video conference call. “Getting familiar with everyone here, getting familiar with the city, it’s been unbelievable so far and I’m so happy that I could sign back and be a part of this for a little bit longer.”
Subban played just 70 seconds with the Blackhawks in the 2019-20 regular season after being acquired from the Golden Knights in the Robin Lehner trade Feb. 24. Subban was Chicago’s backup goaltender for the postseason but only played half of an exhibition game.
The 26-year-old Subban was 9-7-3 with a 3.18 GAA and .890 save percentage in 20 games (19 starts) this past season for Vegas. He is 30-23-7 with a 2.97 GAA, .899 save percentage and one shoutout in 65 games with the Golden Knights and Bruins.
Subban was claimed off waivers by Vegas on Oct. 3, 2017. He was selected in the first round (No. 24 overall) by Boston in the 2012 NHL Draft.
The move comes after the Blackhawks decided Thursday not to re-sign 35-year-old Corey Crawford, who is a two-time Stanley Cup champion and ranks third in wins in Blackhawks history.
The Blackhawks expect Subban to compete with Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen for the starting job for the 2021 season, which the NHL and NHL Players’ Association are targeting for a Jan. 1 start. All three goalies will be signed through the 2022-23 season.
Delia was 16-13-2 with a 2.66 GAA, .912 save percentage and three shutouts in 32 AHL games for the Rockford IceHogs; the 26-year-old is 7-5-3 with a 3.65 GAA and .906 save percentage in 18 NHL games (16 starts), but hasn’t played in the NHL since 2018-19.
Lankinen was 8-10-2 with a 3.03 GAA and .909 save percentage in 21 AHL games this past season after he was 7-1 with a 1.50 GAA and .942 save percentage to help the Finland national team win gold at the 2019 World Championship.
“I’ve been preparing for it for a long time,” Subban said of being a No. 1 starter. “You’ve just got to keep working hard. You put the work in to get the opportunity. Obviously, it’s three great goaltenders... so it’s good competition.”