NHL: In need of defenders, Blackhawks bring back Erik Gustafsson

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Defenseman Erik Gustafsson agreed to a one-year, $800,000 deal with Chicago on Monday to start his second stint with the Blackhawks.

The deal comes one day after Gustafsson was released by the New York Islanders.

Gustafsson, 29, played 3 1/2 seasons with Chicago from 2015-20 and had 116 points (28 goals, 88 assists) in 214 games. The best season of his career came in a Blackhawks’ jersey when be established career highs of 17 goals, 43 assists (60 points) in 2018-19.

Gustafsson was traded to the Calgary Flames in February 2020. He split last season with the Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens.

Chicago has a need for an experienced defenseman as Caleb Jones (wrist), Wyatt Kalynuk (ankle) and Alec Regula (back) are all sidelined with injuries.

Overall, Gustafsson has 29 goals and 131 points in 250 NHL games.

The Blackhawks open the season on Wednesday against the host Colorado Avalanche.

–Field Level Media

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