Teuvo Teravainen spoke with the media Tuesday wearing the Chicago Blackhawks hat he got while playing for them from 2013-16.

"I found the old hat laying around some corner, so figured to put it on," the forward said with a smile.

The hat, the city of Chicago and some Blackhawks staff will be familiar to Teravainen, who signed a three-year, $16.2 million contract ($5.4 million average annual value) with Chicago on July 1. Otherwise, the team Teravainen is returning to is very different from the one he won the Stanley Cup with in 2015. But he's welcoming the challenge and happy to be in familiar territory.

"It's awesome to be back," he said. "I kind of knew they were a little bit interested, and also for myself, when I heard they were interested I was very interested. I had a few options, but I felt it's the right time for me right now, so excited. I know the city, I have good memories from there, so easy decision."

Teravainen has 459 points (155 goals, 304 assists) in 670 NHL games with the Blackhawks and Carolina Hurricanes, who acquired him and forward Bryan Bickell in a trade with Chicago on June 15, 2016. He had 53 points (25 goals, 28 assists) in 2023-24, his eighth and final season with the Hurricanes.

The 29-year-old was one of several veterans the Blackhawks signed July 1, including forwards Tyler Bertuzzi, Pat Maroon and Craig Smith, defensemen Alec Martinez and TJ Brodie and goalie Laurent Brossoit.

Teravainen is expected to play in Chicago’s top-six forward group and could get some playing time on the top line with center Connor Bedard, last season's Calder Trophy winner as NHL rookie of the year. Bedard, who turns 19 on July 17, led the Blackhawks with 61 points (22 goals, 39 assists) in 68 games.

"I haven't seen him play much but of course I've seen all the highlights. Seems like a pretty good player," Teravainen said. "Young for sure, but hopefully I can help him get better. That would be cool to play with him."

Chicago (23-53-6) was eighth in the Central Division last season and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fourth straight season.

That's a big change for Teravainen, who had gone to the playoffs with the Hurricanes the past six seasons.

NHL Tonight on Teravainen returning to the Blackhawks

"Well of course winning is more fun than losing, so I want to do it right away," Teravainen said about turning things around in Chicago. "Hopefully we can get there as soon as we can."

His return is not just a full-circle moment for Teravainen, but also for Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson. After Chicago selected Teravainen with the No. 18 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, Davidson, then a coordinator in the Blackhawks hockey operations department, picked Teravainen up at the airport when he arrived in Chicago.

"When he first came over, we shared a couple meals out together," Davidson said Friday. "He didn't know anyone, so I was kind of giving him the lay of the land a little bit early on in his career, that first stop over from Finland.

"That was definitely a weird one thinking that, you know, I picked this guy up when he was … was 19 or whatever, at O'Hare, coming over for the first time to play for the Blackhawks. And I drove him home after games and stuff, back to his hotel. And so, it's funny to kind of see that come full circle where I'm signing him to a new contract and bringing him in as a veteran player."

Much has changed since Teravainen last played for the Blackhawks. He knows what it's like to play winning hockey in Chicago and he's hoping to help the Blackhawks get back to that soon.

"I feel it was a long time ago, I was a different player back then," he said. "The whole game, [it’s about] taking a step and be better every year.

"[I spent] a long time in Carolina so I learned to play, how they play over there. It's been great years over there. I'm turning 30 now [Sept. 11], and I should be older and a better player. Hopefully I can bring a little of everything, experience and all-around play."

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