There’s no more need for guesswork when it comes to what threads the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks will wear when they face off for the Stadium Series contest at Minneapolis’ TCF Bank Stadium on Feb. 21.
Tuesday morning, both the Wild and Blackhawks officially unveiled their uniforms for the Stadium Series contest, with both teams electing for a traditional look with slight alterations made for the outdoor tilt.
For the Wild, the green jersey keeps the primary logo the same while introducing a brand new shoulder patch, while the Blackhawks elected to rehash a look similar to what was worn in 2015 at the Winter Classic contest against the Washington Capitals. Read more
The Chicago Blackhawks had two major concerns in the off-season: managing the salary cap and bolstering the blueline. Taking care of the cap wasn’t easy as the Blackhawks parted ways with Brandon Saad, let free agent Johnny Oduya walk and traded Patrick Sharp to the Dallas Stars. But in saying goodbye to Sharp, Chicago believed they had addressed their defense.
In the Sharp trade, Chicago GM Stan Bowman managed to land Ryan Garbutt and rearguard Trevor Daley. It was thought that Daley, a veteran earning $3.3 million per season, would be the fit on the back end that replaced Oduya. That hasn’t quite panned out, though. Matter of fact, it’s been the complete opposite.
Through 20 games, Daley has just three assists, is averaging less than 16 minutes per game and there are reports now that Daley finds himself on the trading block. It’s been more than just Daley’s play that has made him a trade candidate, though. Realistically, he hasn’t so much played himself off the Blackhawks as it is young players have shown that the 32-year-old blueliner is expendable. Read more
The naysayers of Chicago netminder Corey Crawford have made a point of picking out his glove hand as his greatest weakness over the past several seasons, but it was that very same glove that was a game-saver for the Blackhawks Wednesday night.
After the Oilers had clawed back twice in the third period and knotted the game at three, Chicago and Edmonton headed to overtime. And it was in the extra frame that Crawford came up huge and almost singlehandedly helped the Blackhawks extend their winning streak to three games.
Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl was streaking down the left wing when he fired a perfect pass to Taylor Hall who had nearly the whole net to shoot at. Hall loaded up, fired and watched as Crawford flashed the leather to take away what very well should have been the overtime winner: Read more
Hall of Fame left winger Bert Olmstead, a native of Sceptre, Sask., passed away Monday at 89 due to complications from a stroke, according to the Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis.
Over his 14 seasons in the NHL, Olmstead played for the Chicago Black Hawks, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs and was also briefly a member of the Red Wings but never suited up for Detroit. Olmstead broke into the league with the Black Hawks in 1949-50 with a 20-goal, 49-point rookie campaign and finished second in Calder Trophy voting to Bruins goaltender Jack Gelineau.
Olmstead’s greatest successes came while a member of the Habs in the 1950s, though. Olmstead was a gifted playmaker, but wasn’t necessarily known for his own scoring ability, instead using his talents to set up linemates such as Elmer Lach, Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard and Jean Beliveau. Read more
The Chicago Blackhawks will soon be welcoming back defensemen Duncan Keith and Michal Roszsival from injured reserve. Keith’s been sidelined since Oct. 19 by knee surgery, while Rozsival’s still recovering from a gruesome ankle injury suffered during last spring’s playoffs.
While the Blackhawks won six of their last 10 without Keith and Rozsival, they began this week 14th overall in goals-against per game. The imminent return of two key blueliners, however, apparently isn’t stopping management from pursuing additional defensive depth.
The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc and Chris Hines cite a source claiming the Blackhawks are pushing hard to acquire a blueliner. This isn’t a recent search, as the duo note the club’s interest in bolstering their defense dates back to before Keith’s surgery.
Heading into Sunday’s action between the Oilers and Blackhawks, Chicago rookie Artemi Panarin was tied for the league lead in rookie scoring. Through 14 games, the 24-year-old had 12 points and sat alongside injured Edmonton pivot Connor McDavid as the highest scoring freshmen.
Panarin separated himself from the pack Sunday, though, with a three-point night that included a tally less than one minute into the contest and a remarkable solo effort that turned a play that looked as if it would be nothing into a beautiful marker.
After collecting a pass from Patrick Kane, Panarin skated down the left wing wall and appeared as if he was closed off by the Oilers defense. It didn’t look like he had many options, but instead of dumping the puck in and hoping for a retrieval, Panarin stepped into the Oilers zone, shifted the puck out of the reach of Edmonton blueliner Mark Fayne, found open ice and ripped home a wrist shot over the glove of Oilers netminder Cam Talbot: Read more
Chicago has been without all-star defenseman Duncan Keith for the past eight games, but he could be back in the lineup ahead of schedule after skating with the Blackhawks Sunday afternoon.
Keith had surgery Oct. 20, and the initial timeline on his return was 4-6 weeks. Before being sidelined by surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, Keith had notched two assists in six games and was averaging upwards of 24 minutes per game. Keith was leading all Blackhawks in average ice time. But after taking part in a full practice with teammates, Keith could be in line for a return three weeks following his injury.
Keith said the injury came during the Stanley Cup final, but he played through the injury and managed to notch the Stanley Cup-winning goal and earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP thanks to a three-goal, 21-point post-season performance. Keith told Hedger that the pain from the injury came back early this season. Read more
Imagine if the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that
management had sold Sidney Crosby to the Chicago Blackhawks for about $95 million in straight cash.
You say it couldn’t happen. Think again, because a genuine Chicago-Toronto deal of similarly outrageous proportions actually was consummated 53 years ago. After a week of negotiations, it caused massive cases of lockjaw around the NHL.
The Maple Leafs’ version of Crosby at the start of 1962-63 was an oversized left winger named Frank ‘The Big M’ Mahovlich. Having already helped his club in April 1962 to what would become the first of three straight Stanley Cups, Mahovlich towered above every left winger but one: Bobby Hull of Chicago. And at that they seemed equal. During an evening of drinking revelry with his Toronto counterpart Harold Ballard, Black Hawks owner James Norris proposed having Mahovlich wear a Hawks jersey, and Pal Hal liked the idea.