My Top 5 | Brandon Manning

New city. New team. New conference. Brandon Manning is looking forward to suiting up in the Windy City.

New city. New team. New conference. Brandon Manning, who signed a free agent two-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, is looking forward to suiting up in the Windy City.

The 28-year-old defenceman recently spoke with and offered up his top reasons he’s looking forward to playing in Chicago.

Top 5 things to look forward to

1. New look

“The first thing that comes to mind is probably the new opportunity and change of scenery for me. Getting a chance to play against different players in a different conference is something I’m looking forward to. Also, looking to improve my game and work my way up, hopefully continuing my career and building on what I can do.”    

2. Welcome wagon

“For me, it’s the first time really moving teams. I signed my first NHL contract with Philly and worked my way up the organization. I was never traded in junior. When you have world-class players like Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane, whether it’s a phone call or a simple text message, it definitely means a lot. So far, it’s made it a lot easier on me.”

3. Food for thought

“Chicago’s always been a place that I’ve said I’d like to spend a little bit more time in. Luckily enough, I’m going to have that time to see what it’s all about, get used to it and enjoy it a little more. It will be nice to check out some of the restaurants. That was something I enjoyed in Philly with the guys, checking out new restaurants. It’s going to be exciting to find those new places in Chicago.”

4. Happy couple

“My girlfriend (SheaMarie) is excited as well. This will be our first full winter together. It’s a new journey for both of us and I’m excited to have her along for it. It’ll be nice to experience all of that together.”

5. New rivalries with new teammates

“We didn’t see Chicago too much when we played in Philly, but I’m pretty happy to be joining up with those guys and not having to play against them. It’s a new challenge and I’m really looking forward to it.”