It looks like a sure win for Philipp Kurashev at first glance, but the Chicago Blackhawks also received the term they were looking for. They just paid a little more than they would have liked.
Kurashev was awarded a two-year deal worth $2.25 AAV following his arbitration hearing. Per the Blackhawks release, the team has agreed to the decision while choosing a two-year term, fitting the final piece of their roster puzzle.
He’s back 🤩 pic.twitter.com/rKd8VKm6p9
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) July 23, 2023
Cost of New Contract Favors Kurashev
Though he wanted more, Kurashev still gets a hefty raise form the $750k deal he had last year. The 23-year-old was seeking a one-year deal at $2.65M while the Blackhawks countered with the extra year at $1.4M. Apparently, the Hawks were coming in a bit low but they received the term they were seeking.
Now it’s on Kurashev to produce. Last season he had 25 points in 70 games (9-16) but that was on a sub million dollar deal. Now, he’ll be the seventh highest paid forward, but on a team that has paid far over market price for Corey Perry and Nick Foligno. Price truly doesn’t matter for the Blackhawks as they’ve not only cleared the deck, but have limited term with each of its signings in the Kyle Davidson era.
So while it’s a win financially for Kurashev, now it’s on him to justify the price in those two years.
What’s the Long Game?
Simple: The Blackhawks have a two-year deal they were seeking to allow Kurashev to grow some more at the NHL level. He’s going to start in a bottom six role, and have the chance to work his way up knowing that more spots open up as soon as 2023-24 comes to a close.
But there’s also the fact that the Blackhawks are beating down the door with prospects up front. So with the $2.25M reward comes with a little more pressure.
The Blackhawks have sealed up the rest of their roster work while Kurashev receives a hefty raise. The biggest victory would be if he ends up playing a big role as Chicago builds for contention.