Blackhawks, defenseman Brandon Davidson agree on one-year deal

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Chicago Blackhawks’ Brandon Davidson (22), Luc Snuggerud (45) and Dominik Kahun (24) celebrate the goal of John Hayden (40) against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of an NHL hockey preseason game Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Ottawa, Ontario. | Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP

All through training camp, Blackhawks defenseman Brandon Davidson wasn’t paying attention to the roster cuts — as long his name wasn’t on the list.

‘‘I never looked at it,’’ said Davidson, who was at camp on a professional tryout.

That changed Wednesday. Shortly after news broke that the Hawks had assigned 18-year-old Adam Boqvist to London of the Ontario Hockey League, Davidson got a text message from his brother that informed him only seven healthy defensemen remained on the Hawks’ camp roster. (Connor Murphy and Gustav Forsling are expected to begin the season on injured reserve.)

Davidson responded: ‘‘Huh? Maybe we should call my agent.’’

On Thursday, the Hawks announced they had agreed to terms with Davidson on a one-year contract worth $650,000.

‘‘That’s huge for me,’’ Davidson said. ‘‘Coming in here, I wanted to make sure I established myself and put my best foot forward in making this team. Now that I’ve done that, the concentration is on the team and winning.’’

Davidson didn’t take the most glamorous route to the Hawks. He played on three teams last season — the Canadiens, Oilers and Islanders — and had seven points and a minus-13 rating in 51 games.


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‘‘It was also an experience that helped me understand how to go through those situations and made me stronger as a person and mentally helped me a lot,’’ Davidson said. ‘‘Now [it’s good] to be here and re-establish myself.’’

Size, steadiness and reliability are things coach Joel Quenneville said the Hawks need on their blue line. And Davidson, who is 6-2 and weighs 208 pounds, checks all those boxes.

‘‘He earned an opportunity to play,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘His consistency is something we were looking for.’’

Those qualities are even more important as the Hawks prepare to begin the season without a clear idea of when goalie Corey Crawford will be ready to play.

Davidson and forward David Kampf took the ice before practice to help Crawford take another step in his recovery from the concussion he suffered last season. The two took shots on Crawford in his most rigorous on-ice workout to date.

‘‘[It] looks like he’s coming along nicely,’’ Davidson said of Crawford. ‘‘He’s moving well. My shot’s not too hard to contend [against], but it looks like he did a good job this morning.’’

Quenneville said Crawford, who hasn’t practiced with the Hawks in seven months, is still on track to join the team in practice early next week. But it’s unlikely Crawford will be ready in time for the season opener next Thursday.

‘‘He keeps getting better, and that’s a sign we’re hoping for,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘So that’s very encouraging. . . . You’re always

interested seeing how he’s coming in the next day, and so far it’s good.’’

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