Patrick Kane is coming off a season in which he scored a career-high 46 goals, 106 points and took home the Art Ross Trophy, Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award.
And if there’s any wondering how Kane, 27, was able to capture both MVP awards and win the scoring title by nearly 20 points, a new video that shows off Kane’s almost unparalleled ability to handle the puck makes it pretty clear why the Chicago Blackhawks winger is able to make opposing defensemen look foolish on a regular basis.
Kane is thrown into an obstacle course called the “Stickhandler’s Playground” in the video, produced by Bauer, and he does everything from scooping the puck on his blade to flipping it through the narrow opening in a tire on his backhand. Check it out: Read more
Chicago Blackhawks fans can breathe easy right now. Their team addressed a dire need Friday and did so with minimal risk, signing Brian Campbell to a one-year deal carrying a $1.5-million cap hit and $750,000 in performance bonuses. As for the future? Well, GM Stan Bowman just has to take this one year by year.
Last summer the Hawks, squeezed up against the salary cap for the umpteenth year in a row, had to let blueliner Johnny Oduya walk as an unrestricted free agent. Oduya would never have been mistaken for a Norris Trophy candidate but was a highly capable and experienced second-pair blueliner. He and Niklas Hjalmarsson formed such a strong tandem that coach Joel Quenneville could almost roll with just four defensemen, the other two being Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, in the playoffs. Oduya won Cups with Chicago in 2013 and 2015 and averaged 24:45 of ice time during the 2015 run.
The Montreal Canadiens have signed center Andrew Shaw to a six-year contract worth $3.9 million per season and $23.4 million overall. For a team looking to bounce back from a bad year, adding a two-time Stanley Cup winner is a good start.
BUFFALO – In what has become an annual event, the Chicago Blackhawks have done a summer dismantling of their team in an effort to fit their roster under the salary cap. Along with the Carolina Hurricanes, the Montreal Canadiens are the beneficiaries. And it may have come one year late, but Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin got a Blackhawk he coveted.
It was widely believed Bergevin was prepared to give Brandon Saad an offer sheet last summer, which was what prompted the Blackhawks to trade him to the Columbus Blue Jackets. But at the draft this year, Bergevin got Andrew Shaw, a player he scouted for the Hawks when he was their director of player personnel in 2011.
Entering the 2016 NHL draft, the trade speculation is ramping up on several notable NHL stars.
Topping the list is Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban. The trade chatter reached a fever pitch on Thursday when Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning admitted he contacted Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin to inquire about Subban. Meanwhile, Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli claimed he looked into acquiring the Habs blueliner but the asking price was too high.
The Montreal Gazette’s Pat Hickey reports Bergevin insists he’s not shopping Subban but he can’t prevent rival clubs from calling about the defenseman.
The Florida Panthers’ signing of Keith Yandle to a big-money deal makes it a near certainty that veteran defenseman Brian Campbell will be looking to patrol the blueline elsewhere in 2016-17, and it appears on option could be a return to a former city where Campbell had a lot of success.
According to the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc, Campbell, 37, is considering a return to the Chicago Blackhawks in the off-season, though it would mean that he has to take a significant pay cut from the $7.14 million he was earning this past season. Campbell had six goals and 31 points during the past off-season and could no doubt command at least $4 million on the open market, but a cap hit of that much almost assuredly wouldn’t work for the Blackhawks, who are already under a cap crunch with not much room to maneuver.
A return to Chicago would be an intriguing move for Campbell, though, and a huge get for the Blackhawks, whose blueline was very clearly missing a key piece during the past season. Read more
Everyone agrees, Patrick Kane was the best player in the NHL in 2015-16. The Blackhawks star cleaned up at the annual NHL Awards taking home both most-valuable-player awards among his three trophies.
Kane was the runaway winner of the most prestigious award, the Hart Trophy, earning 121 first-place votes from media voters. Runner up Sidney Crosby earned 11 first-place votes. Kane also won the Ted Lindsay Award for the most valuable player as voted by fellow players.
Kane also was the Art Ross Trophy winner as the league’s leading scorer. He finished the season with a career high 46 goals and 60 assists and was 17 points clear of second-leading scorer Jamie Benn.
The key to a successful off-season for Chicago GM Stan Bowman is finding cheap, effective talent to keep the Blackhawks as competitive as they have been over the past several seasons in the Central Division. And it seems Bowman has started his summer by bringing in one of the Blackhawks’ top prospects.
The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Hine reported Sunday that 20-year-old center Nick Schmaltz has inked a three-year, entry-level contract with the Blackhawks, choosing to forego a third season at University of North Dakota and instead join the pro ranks. In THN’s Future Watch 2016, a panel of scouts ranked Schmaltz as Chicago’s best prospect, and 26th-best in the league, and his performance in the NCAA makes it clear why.
This past season, Schmaltz appeared in 37 games for the UND Fighting Hawks, scoring 11 goals and 46 points. He was a key part of UND’s top line, alongside Drake Caggiula and Brock Boeser, and Schmaltz scored one goal and four points in four games during UND’s Frozen Four national title victory. That’s not to mention his two-goal, eight-point World Junior Championship performance for Team USA. Read more