‘Let’s get to work’: Teravainen excited to be back with Hawks

In the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 20-year-old Teuvo Teravainen helped the Chicago Blackhawks complete a magical run to their third championship in five seasons.

Nine years later, Teravainen is returning to the Hawks. When free agency began earlier this month, Chicago and Teravainen agreed on a three-year, $16.2 million deal.

“It’s awesome to be back,” Teravainen said during a video news conference on Tuesday.

The Blackhawks selected Teravainen with the 18th overall pick out of Finland in the 2012 NHL Draft.

Teravainen skated with the top six forwards for the Hawks in the year following the championship season. However, with an expiring rookie contract and Calder Trophy winner Artemi Panarin showing promise, Chicago decided to trade Teravainen to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Carolina acquired fellow winger Bryan Bickell in the deal to help the Blackhawks ease salary cap constraints. Bickell, a member of all three championship teams for Chicago, scored the tying goal in game six of the 2013 finals.

The Hawks received a 2016 second-round pick and a 2017 third in the exchange.

Teravainen shined with the Canes, tallying double digit points in two playoff runs, but Carolina failed to advance past the conference finals.

“For that time, it was good for me,” Teravainen said. “I guess, to play a little bigger minutes and grow as a player.”

With a roster that lacks experience awaiting Teravainen’s return, he noted the assistance Blackhawks greats provided him in his early years.

“Everybody; (Jonathan) Toews, (Patrick) Kane, (Brent) Seabrook, (Duncan) Keith, (Marian) Hossa, all of those, (Patrick Sharp), just such great players,” Teravainen said. “It was good to see them every practice, every game and learn from them off the ice, on the ice. So, it’s really been helpful for me.”

Blackhawks fans have not seen their team in the playoffs since the 2019-20 season.

However, with Calder Trophy winner Connor Bedard and the additions of Teravainen and fellow winger Tyler Bertuzzi in free agency, there is hope in Chicago.

“Of course, winning is more fun than losing so I want to do it right away, but hopefully we can get there as soon as we can,” Teravainen said.

Teravainen’s signing comes full circle for both him and Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson.

Davidson acted as Teravainen’s driver during his initial stint with the Hawks. Years later, Davidson offered Teravainen the opportunity to return.

“I was just so excited right away when I heard there was a chance to come back,” Teravainen said.

Although this Blackhawks team may lack the firepower Teravainen played with in his first stint with the team, the goal remains the same: The Stanley Cup Finals.

“Let’s get to work in Chicago, so hopefully we can get there,” Teravainen said.

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