Nick Foligno

Blackhawks sign Nick Foligno as part of Taylor Hall trade

Details on the deal, and where Foligno may fit with the team

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NASHVILLE — The Chicago Blackhawks made a four-player trade with the Boston Bruins on Monday, acquiring Taylor Hall and the rights to pending unrestricted free agent Nick Foligno in exchange for the rights to pending restricted free-agent defensemen Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula.

Hall, of course, is the headliner of the group. He's a five-time NHL All-Star and former Hart Trophy winner who has two years left on his contract at a cap hit of $6 million.

Foligno didn't get as much attention, in part because he's more of a role player at this stage of his career. He could have tested the market when free agency opened on July 1 and went ring chasing, but instead, he wasted little time and inked a one-year contract with the Blackhawks at a cap hit of $4 million, the team announced Tuesday morning.

Foligno's $4 million is certainly on the higher side for a player who's more of a bottom-six player at age 35, but money isn't an issue for the Blackhawks, who need to get to the salary cap floor. The Blackhawks still have a boatload of cap space to take on contracts for future assets if the opportunity presents itself, so this signing doesn't impact their ability to do so whatsoever.

The Blackhawks probably also needed to make the money enticing enough for Foligno to be willing to sign up for being a mentor on a rebuilding team as opposed to signing a lower-end contract for a Stanley Cup contender. The Blackhawks can also guarantee Foligno consistent ice time, which has dwindled over the years; he averaged only 12:21 minutes per game last season, slightly down from 12:27 the season prior.

Foligno is one of the most well-respected players in the NHL and should serve as a great locker room presence for a young Blackhawks team trying to usher in a new core that's expected to be centered around projected No. 1 overall pick Connor Bedard. Foligno is a 16-year NHL veteran and a former captain in this league, which says a lot about his leadership qualities.

Foligno registered 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in 60 games with Boston last season and added three points (one goal, two assists) in three postseason contests. The former 2006 first-round pick (No. 28 overall) by Ottawa has appeared in 1,081 career NHL games and has accumulated 524 points (215 goals, 309 assists).

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