Blackhawks TV analyst Eddie Olczyk bolts for Seattle Kraken after Hawks talks break down

Olczyk couldn’t reach an agreement with management on a new contract. His deal expired after the season. According to a source, the Hawks would not give him the same contract length that the Kraken did.

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Eddie Olczyk (right) and Pat Foley are calling Blackhawks playoff games together but apart. Foley is in a production truck outside the United Center, and Olczyk is at NBC Sports Network’s studios in Stamford, Conn.

James Foster/Sun-Times

The Blackhawks’ teardown includes the TV booth. Longtime analyst Eddie Olczyk will not return to the team. He’ll join the Kraken’s broadcast booth and continue as an analyst for TNT.

Olczyk, who has been on Hawks broadcasts since 2006, couldn’t reach an agreement with management on a new contract. His deal expired after last season. According to a source, the Hawks would not give him the same contract length that the Kraken did.

“We just could not come to terms on a contract, and I have stepped away,” Olczyk told the Sun-Times. “There was a contract on the table, but I have decided to step away.

“I had an incredible conversation with [chairman Rocky Wirtz], met with him in person, as well as Danny [Wirtz] and Jaime [Faulkner]. There’s great disappointment, but this was my decision. In negotiations, sometimes you can’t come to terms, and that’s what happened here.”

The Hawks released a statement: “For 16 seasons, we were fortunate to have legendary broadcaster Eddie Olczyk bring Chicago Blackhawks hockey into the homes of our fans. We are going to miss him as much as our fans will. Eddie will always be part of the Blackhawks family. We appreciate his many contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Olczyk is the latest big name to leave the organization, which has been undergoing turnover in seemingly every facet of business and hockey operations. Hall of Fame play-by-play voice Pat Foley was forced out after last season, the team traded star winger Alex DeBrincat on draft day and now Olczyk is departing.

Nick Olczyk, Eddie’s son who appeared on TV and radio for the Hawks last season, also will not return, according to a source.

Olczyk has several connections to the Kraken. His brother Ricky is an assistant general manager, his son Eddie is an amateur scout and general manager Ron Francis is a close friend. Olczyk will team with John Forslund to form one of the best TV tandems in hockey — which the Hawks once had.

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