Blackhawks, Marcus Kruger continue negotiations

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks and forward Marcus Kruger are still working to finalize a new contract, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said Friday.

Kruger became a restricted free agent after this past season. He signed a two-year, $2.65 million contract extension prior to 2013-14. The Blackhawks and Kruger are working on a long-term deal, according to Kruger’s agent, J.P. Barry.

“We’re still talking and trying to get everything worked out,” Bowman said. “Nothing to announce yet, so when we do get to that point, you guys will be the first to know. We’re working on some things still and we don’t have anything to report right now.”

Bowman said he would like to come to terms with Kruger before training camp in September.

“I think with all our players, you want to have them signed before camp,” Bowman said. “I think it’s always ideal to have your guys with as much preparation as possible. We’re working towards that and ultimately we’ll see how the timing works out.”

Kruger, 25, led the Blackhawks’ forwards in penalty-kill ice time and had seven goals and 10 assists in 81 regular-season games last season. He also had two goals, two assists and averaged 15 minutes, 6 seconds of ice time during the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup run. He has been a part of two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks and has played in 287 regular-season games over the past five seasons.

Bowman said he's also still negotiating contracts with restricted free agents Joakim Nordstrom and Viktor Svedberg.

“We’ve had good discussions with all of our players that have not yet been signed,” Bowman said. “I wouldn’t characterize any of them as contentious or difficult. It’s just we’ve got a lot of factors at play and we’re not quite there and don’t have it all finalized yet, but we are in the process on a number of things.”