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Blackhawks agree to 1-year contract with Erik Gustafsson

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Devils Islanders Hockey

New York Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin, right, stops a shot attempt from New Jersey Devils' Yegor Sharangovich as New York Islanders' Erik Gustafsson, left, defends, during an NHL preseason hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Bridgeport, Conn. 

The Chicago Blackhawks brought back Erik Gustafsson on Monday, agreeing to a one-year contract with the free-agent defenseman.

Gustafsson was released by the New York Islanders on Sunday. The deal with Chicago is worth $800,000.

The return of Gustafsson bolsters the Blackhawks' blue line after they lost young defensemen Caleb Jones and Wyatt Kalynuk to injuries. Jones sprained his left wrist, and Kalynuk sprained his right ankle.

The Blackhawks visit Colorado on Wednesday for their season opener.

Erik Gustafsson head shot 2020

Gustafsson

The 29-year-old Gustafsson made his NHL debut with Chicago in 2015. He set career highs with 17 goals and 43 assists in 79 games for the Blackhawks during the 2018-19 season.

He was traded to Calgary in February 2020 for a third-round draft pick. He played for Philadelphia and Montreal last season, finishing with a goal and 11 assists in 29 games.

Gustafsson has 29 goals and 102 assists in 250 career regular-season games, to go along with a goal and seven assists in 31 playoff appearances.

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The Chicago Blackhawks had their final test run for Wednesday’s season opener on the road against the Colorado Avalanche, and few could quibble with the results: A 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild in the preseason finale Saturday at the United Center.

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