The Chicago Blackhawks now have their backup goaltender for the 2022-23 NHL season, according to a media report.
According to Scott Powers of The Athletic, the Blackhawks have signed free-agent goaltender Alex Stalock to a one-year contract.
The Blackhawks have signed goalie Alex Stalock on a one-year, $750k contract, according to a source.— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) July 13, 2022
The Blackhawks confirmed the move with a press release on Wednesday afternoon.
Stalock’s had a tough couple of years, both on and off the ice, as Ben Pope of the Sun-Times, explained:
Alex Stalock missed 2021 with a heart condition.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) July 13, 2022
He then really, really struggled in 2021-22. He posted an .869 sv% in 17 AHL games and a .786 sv% in 1 NHL game for SJS.
He is an...interesting backup choice. Really fits the tank.
Stalock, who turns 35 on July 28, was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the fourth round (112th overall) in the 2005 NHL Draft. The St. Paul native has appeared in 152 games across his 10-year career with a 61-50-18 record, .908 save percentage and 2.64 goals-against average. His best season was likely back in 2013-14 with the Sharks, when he posted a 12-5-2, .932 and 1.87, respectively. Stalock was also pretty good for the Wild in the 2019-20 season, going 20-11-4, .910 and 2.67 respectively.
Well into this 30s now, though, it’s difficult to see him reclaiming that level of play.
Perhaps the more interesting part of this acquisition is what it means for Kevin Lankinen, who’s only played with the Blackhawks since coming over from Europe but remains an unrestricted free agent. With two goalies now under contract in Chicago and Rockford’s top spot appearing to be Arvid Soderblom’s, it’s tough to see any place in Chicago for Lankinen.
Powers tweeted this, regarding Lankinen, earlier Wednesday morning.
Doesn't sound like Kevin Lankinen and the Blackhawks are close to anything yet. Lankinen should have a number of options if he wants to end up elsewhere in the coming days.— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) July 13, 2022