Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Blackhawks’

The first season of Seth Jones‘ eight-year, $76-million megadeal is about to begin, but the Chicago Blackhawks aren’t quite where the defenseman thought they would be when he signed last July.

“It was a little frustrating to see (the trades this summer) at first. It’s not really what I or anybody had in mind, looking back a couple years,” Jones said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Ben Pope. “But it is what it is. It’s going to make a lot of us better in here. We’ll be patient with each other and help each other through this.”

He added, “I don’t have any regrets.”

The Blackhawks’ last two offseasons have been radically different. In 2021, Chicago made a series of splashy moves and seemed poised to make a push up the Central Division standings. The organization traded for Jones then signed him to a hefty extension, and they picked up veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights.

The wheels swiftly fell off, though. The Blackhawks went 1-9-2 to begin 2021-22 and fired head coach Jeremy Colliton in early November. Far out of the playoff picture at the trade deadline in March, Chicago dealt Fleury to the Minnesota Wild and sent talented young forward Brandon Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Blackhawks ended last season in seventh place in the Central Division with a 28-42-12 record, and the losses continued this summer. Chicago moved on from Alex DeBrincatKirby DachDominik Kubalik, and Dylan Strome, while the futures of franchise mainstays Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are hazy at best.

In the midst of all the turnover that comes with a rebuild, Jones said he’s focusing on the “bigger picture.”

“Patience is going to be important this year. At the same time, we’re going into every game trying to win,” he said. “We’re going to have to be a disciplined, structured team this year (and) make sure teams earn their wins and goals against us.”

Jones, 27, posted five goals and 46 assists in 78 games during his first season in Chicago. He averaged a career-high 26:13 of ice time per contest, the most on the team.

Despite being a trending topic for most of the dog days of the offseason, Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane says he hasn’t paid much attention to swirling trade rumors.

Kane is entering the final year of his contract while Chicago is set to embark on a potentially lengthy rebuild, leading to plenty of speculation about his availability.

“Like I said before, it’s not really something I’ve thought of or anything I’m thinking about right now,” Kane said Thursday, per The Athletic’s Scott Powers. “Maybe it’s getting attention because of the situation that people might think we’re in as a team or because of our contracts. It’s just a lot of noise right now.”

Kane continued: “It was just all rumors. I don’t think there was really any legitimate discussions between any team or the Blackhawks, as far as I know.”

The Blackhawks made several moves this offseason that suggest they aren’t gunning for a playoff spot in 2022-23. They traded 40-goal man Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators and dealt 2019 third overall pick Kirby Dach to the Montreal Canadiens. Chicago also decided not to extend qualifying offers to forwards Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik, walking both players straight to unrestricted free agency.

Kane admitted the loss of DeBrincat was particularly tough.

“It’s kind of crushing at first when you hear the news,” he said. “Not only did I feel like we had some great chemistry on the ice, but he was one of my best friends and closest teammates off the ice as well.”

The eight-year, $84-million contract Kane signed in 2014, which has a full no-movement clause, is set to expire after this season. If Chicago is outside the playoff picture as expected at the trade deadline, rumors are sure to heat up again.

Kane, 33, is still one of the league’s top producers. The 2016 MVP registered 92 points in 78 games last season and has a playoff resume that includes three Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe Trophy, and 132 points in 136 contests.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe will miss 10-12 weeks after undergoing successful cervical spine surgery, the team announced Tuesday.

The current recovery timeline projects McCabe to return between late November and early December. Chicago’s 2022 training camp is set to open next week, and its regular season starts Oct. 12 against the defending champion Colorado Avalanche.

McCabe joined the Blackhawks prior to the 2021-22 campaign on a four-year, $16-million contract. He appeared in 75 games and registered 22 points while averaging over 20 minutes per contest in his debut season in the Windy City.

He spent eight seasons with the Buffalo Sabres prior to signing with Chicago.

The Chicago Blackhawks are signing veteran defenseman Jack Johnson to a one-year contract, sources told Peter Baugh and Scott Powers of The Athletic.

Chicago is reportedly expected to announce the deal Wednesday.

The pact will be worth $950,000, according to Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago.

Johnson won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche last season, recording a goal and eight assists over 74 regular-season games. He played another 13 contests during the playoffs without registering a point.

The 35-year-old has played 1,024 games over his 16-year career with the Los Angeles Kings, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, and Avalanche.

Jonathan Toews isn’t thrilled with the idea of waiting out a lengthy rebuild now that Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson has fully embraced that strategy.

“At the end of the day, we’re talking about a five-plus-year process, according to Kyle,” Toews told The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus. “So that part of it doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. I can’t speak for (Patrick Kane), but I definitely feel that the amount of turnover our team has gone through every single year these last three or four years, that’s where it gets really, really draining. And exhausting.”

Toews cited the recent trades Davidson pulled off at the draft, in which he dealt a bona fide star forward to the Ottawa Senators and sent 21-year-old Kirby Dach – who Chicago drafted third overall just three years ago – to the Montreal Canadiens.

“You have a guy like Alex DeBrincat who was under Kaner’s wing. And I like to think that Kirby and I had that bond in some ways, too. And out they go, out the door,” the 34-year-old Toews said. “Over and over, we’ve seen that turnover. I’m learning to be more patient, but there’s no doubt that timeline is pretty daunting. … I’m not going to sit here and say what I’m going to do or what the future holds for me, because I really don’t know.”

Davidson’s roster purge started well before the offseason. After underachieving despite adding Marc-Andre Fleury and Seth Jones over a four-day span last July, the Blackhawks traded forward Brandon Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lightning before the deadline in March. Hagel, a promising winger in his own right, was under contract through 2023-24.

“When we traded Hags, and then Cat and Kirby, reality really set in that, OK, this is where we’re at, and they’ve got to really focus on the future,” Toews said. “And it’s just unfortunate that it’s come to that. But it is what it is. So much of that stuff has been out of my control for quite some time, and it’s a weird place to be in as a captain.”

Toews also noted that seeing Evgeni Malkin – who’ll turn 36 on Sunday – re-sign with the perennially competitive Pittsburgh Penguins “definitely puts things in perspective” in terms of the Blackhawks captain’s own situation.

The accomplished Canadian center can become an unrestricted free agent after next season. He and Kane – who’s in the same boat contractually – have full no-movement clauses, so they’d have to approve any trades that would send them elsewhere.

Scotty Bowman has stepped down as the Chicago Blackhawks‘ senior adviser of hockey operations.

“I am no longer working for the Chicago Blackhawks as of July 1 as I decided it was time to move on,” the Hall of Famer tweeted Tuesday. “Still love the game and would like to stay involved.”

His son, Stan Bowman, stepped down as general manager of the Blackhawks in October 2021 following an independent investigation into former Chicago video coach Brad Aldrich’s alleged sexual assault of Kyle Beach in 2010.

“It was a pretty uncomfortable year because of Stan’s thing, getting let go, and I stayed on for the year and tried to keep going as much as I could, which I think I did,” Bowman told The Associated Press’ John Wawrow and Stephen Whyno. “It’s been a good ride. I mean, you don’t get the chance to work with your son all the time.

“Naturally, you have your differences of opinion, but I got to know the personnel on the team, and it was a good ride to be able to see this team develop and everything else.”

Bowman said he recently spoke with Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson, who asked him to reconsider his decision, according to The Athletic’s Joe Smith. Bowman added that his role hadn’t been the same within the organization and thought a change would be for the best.

He served as head coach for the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Detroit Red Wings over a career that spanned 2,141 games.

The 88-year-old holds the record for most wins as a head coach in NHL history in both the regular season (1,244) and the postseason (223).

Bowman captured an NHL-record nine Stanley Cup championships as a head coach, including five with the Canadiens (1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979), one with the Penguins (1992), and three with the Red Wings (1997, 1998, 2002).

The two-time Jack Adams Award winner added five more Stanley Cup championships to his resume while serving on an organization’s front office. He won three times as senior advisor with the Blackhawks in 2010, 2013, and 2015.

Bowman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1991.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Duncan Keith is hanging up his skates.

The future Hall of Famer decided to retire from the NHL after 17 seasons, reports TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Keith is one of the most decorated players of his era. He won three Stanley Cups, two Norris Trophies, and a Conn Smythe Award with the Chicago Blackhawks as well as two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada.

The 38-year-old finishes his career with 646 points in 1,256 games. He added 91 points in 151 postseason contests.

Chicago drafted Keith 54th overall in 2002. He spent the first 16 years of his career in the Windy City but was traded to Edmonton last offseason.

Keith had one year left on his contract with a $5.538-million cap hit, so the Oilers suddenly have additional flexibility to play with. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, are hit with the following cap recapture penalty, per CapFriendly.

SEASONCAP HIT
2022-23$5.538M
2023-24$1.938M

The rebuilding Hawks have ample cap space, so this penalty shouldn’t drastically alter their plans.

Former NHL defenseman Bryan Marchment died unexpectedly Wednesday in Montreal, his agent said. He was 53.

Longtime agent Rick Curran confirmed Marchment’s death to The Associated Press. Marchment was attending the NHL draft in Montreal as a scout for the San Jose Sharks.

A cause of death was not immediately available.

“It’s a sad day for for me personally, a very sad day for our organization,” said Mike Grier, who was named Sharks general manager on Tuesday. “He meant a lot to a lot of people in our organization, our players, our staff —anyone who knew Brian, the type of man he was. He was just an honest, a down-to-earth, loving person who just cared about everyone. He had time for everyone in the building. Anyone he came across, he had time for. ”

Marchment played parts of 17 NHL seasons from 1989-2006 with Winnipeg, Chicago, Hartford, Edmonton, Tampa Bay, San Jose, Colorado, Toronto and Calgary. The Scarborough, Ontario native had been working in scouting and other roles for the Sharks and their American Hockey League affiliate since 2007.

The NHL and NHL Alumni Association offered their condolences in statements released Wednesday afternoon. News of Marchment’s death reached GMs while they were attending their annual meeting at the draft.

“Just shocking and devastating news,” Philadelphia’s Chuck Fletcher said. “Very young man. Obviously, you’re thinking of his family and friends right now.”

Grier played with Marchment with the Oilers and said Marchment was quick to treat him with respect and make him feel at home..

“If I ever needed anything, whether it was a home-cooked dinner instead of eating out every day, he and (wife) Kim would have me over,” Grier said. “So, it’s a very difficult day.”

Grier praised Marchment as a hard worker and said members of San Jose’s staff would carry on with their responsibilities at the draft with heavy hearts.

“I gave them some time to regroup and have some time to themselves and process and grieve,” he said. “I know ‘Mush’ — that’s what he would say. He would want us to get back to work and do our best and have the best draft possible, so we’ll get back to work. “

The Montreal Canadiens acquired forward Kirby Dach from the Chicago Blackhawks following a pair of trades during Round 1 of the 2022 NHL Draft.

The Habs sent defenseman Alexander Romanov and the 98th overall pick to the New York Islanders in exchange for the 13th overall selection. Montreal then sent the 13th and 66th overall picks to the Blackhawks.

Chicago went on to snag forward Frank Nazar with the No. 13 selection.

The Blackhawks were reportedly listening to offers for Dach heading into the draft. He’s a pending restricted free agent, having played out the final season of a three-year deal with a $925,000 cap hit.

Dach, 21, logged nine goals and 17 assists in 70 contests this season while averaging 18 minutes per game. The Blackhawks selected him with the third overall pick in 2019. Dach has 59 points in 152 career contests, all with Chicago.

Romanov, 22, potted three goals and 10 assists in 79 games in 2021-22. He was fourth amongst all Canadiens blue-liners in ice time, playing just over 20 minutes a game. He led the team with 227 hits and 144 blocks.

Montreal used the first overall pick in the draft to select forward Juraj Slafkovsky out of Slovakia.

Jim Pappin, the former NHL forward credited with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ last Stanley Cup-winning goal, has died. He was 82.

The Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks announced the death Wednesday on social media.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Pappin,” the Maple Leafs said. “Jim played five seasons in Toronto, winning the Stanley Cup in 1964 & ’67. Named one of the 100 Greatest Leafs, he scored the Cup-winning goal and led the team in scoring in ’67. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Later, the Blackhawks said: “The ‘P’ in the MPH Line tallied 444 points in 488 games in Chicago and ranks 17th all-time for franchise scorers with 216 goals. Our hearts go out to Jim’s family and friends.”

Pappin was given credit for Toronto’s second goal in a 3-1 series-ending victory over Montreal in Game 6 on May 2, 1967. Linemate Pete Stemkowski deflected it in, but allowed Pappin to take credit to earn a contract bonus.

Pappin also played on Toronto’s 1964 Stanley Cup championship team, spending part of five seasons with the Maple Leafs.

Traded to Chicago in 1968, he had his biggest offensive seasons with the Blackhawks with MPH Line mates Pit Martin and Dennis Hull, finishing with career highs of 41 goals, 51 assists and 92 points in 1972-73.

After seven seasons with Chicago, he spent the 1975-76 season with the California Seals and followed the franchise to Cleveland the following year for his final NHL season.

In 767 regular-season games in 14 seasons in the NHL, Pappin had 278 goals and 295 assists. In 92 playoff games, he had 33 goals and 34 assists.