As originally reported by ESPN Chicago, the Blackhawks have signed goaltender prospect Alexander Salak to a two-year deal worth about $600,000 per year, according to a source. The contract is reportedly a one-way contract (which means he would be paid the same amount of money whether he plays in the NHL or the AHL). There has been no official announcement of the deal as of yet from the Blackhawks, but this does seem to pave the way for Salak to be Corey Crawford’s backup in net next year.
What makes SalÃ¡k such a qualityÂ prospect is his wild, fiery attitude and his extremely active butterfly style. He plays with a veryÂ wide stance and expels a lot of energy in order to stop the puck. He is the complete opposite of a â€œminimalisticâ€ goaltender (think Tim Thomas as opposed to Niklas Backstrom orÂ Carey Price) and relies on his quick reflexesÂ to position his arms and legs behind shots. Heâ€™s not afraid to speak his mind, he wears his emotions on his sleeves and he works extremely hard in practice. In that regard, you mightÂ compare him to fellow Czech legend Dominik Hasek, but with a much more refined butterfly style.
Do I think SalÃ¡k can step in (pending a new contract) and make the Blackhawks squad out of training camp?Â Absolutely. Do I think he might struggle to play consistently if Joel Quenneville is still coaching this team?Â Yes, big time. Do I think the Blackhawks would be willing to roll with Crawford and SalÃ¡k as a tandem?Â Definitely. Do I think that tandem could be successfulÂ for full season?Â Without a doubt. Who do I think would end up playing more games?Â Probably Crawford -Â he has more NHL experience.
Am I excited about this? Very much so.
After the jump, check out a couple of videos featuring the Blackhawks’ newest goalie prospect.