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Dean Plunkett The Hockey Writers

Published on Tuesday, May 24, 2016





Blackhawks Sign European Goalie, Defenseman and Forward

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have officially agreed to terms with goaltender Lars Johansson, defenseman Michal Kempny and forward Martin Lundberg on one-year contracts.

As first reported by our own Dustin Nelson yesterday, the 25-year-old Kempny and the Hawks had been in discussions about a contract for a while, but both sides wanted to wait until the World Championships ended before signing anything in stone.

After tallying 21 points (5 goals-16 assists) with Avengard Omsk of the KHL this past season, and being named one of the Czech team’s three stars of the IIHF tournament, he should be able to slot in as a #4 or #5 defenseman for Chicago next season.

Lars Johansson, 28, has played for Frolunda HC in the Swedish Hockey League for the past three season, where he had a league-leading 1.74 goals against average and a .927 save percentage last season.

In 10 post-season games, on the way to the SHL championship, he recorded a 1.27 GAA with a save percentage of .934, and was named the SHL Goalie of the Year. His overall record in his three-year stint with Frolunda is a 56-27-0 record with 11 shutouts in 93 games.

If Johansson can perform in the NHL, and under the bright lights of the Chicago franchise, like he has in his native Sweden, the Blackhawks could have a solid goaltender in the wings as they work out the post-Corey Crawford era.

Martin Lundberg, 25, has played in the Swedish Hockey League with Skelleftea AIK since 2008. Last season he recorded 21 points (13 goals, 8 assists) in 44 regular season games, and added six points (4 goals, 2 assists) in 16 playoff games. In 402 career regular season games in the SHL, the Skelleftea native has collected a total of 72 points, and added 20 postseason points in 105 postseason contests.

During this year’s IIHF World Championship Lundberg scored two goals in eight games with Team Sweden. He also won a bronze medal and posted two assists in five games at the 2010 World Junior Championship.


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