It wasn’t shocking news, but definitely interesting news to wake up to this morning.
In case you missed it, the Chicago Blackhawks gave head coach Jeremy Colliton a two-year contract extension through the 2022-23 season. Colliton, who was entering the final year of his current deal, will now be allowed proper time to oversee these players’ development. Stan Bowman is continuing to bet on Colliton being “the guy” for Chicago.
The Blackhawks are going to have a rough go of it this season, we expect, in the win-loss columns. But the wins and losses matter less than the progress of the young players this season. And Colliton will have a hand in that going forward.
• What is vastly more important is what do the Blackhawks have to look forward to in their young players. We already knew Kirby Dach was turning into a special player, then he suffered a broken wrist. Alexander Nylander is still young and has potential, but needed a bounce back season, then had to have knee surgery. Ok, now who to look at? Adam Boqvist, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, Ian Mitchell, and Philipp Kurashev, all eyes are on you. The man in charge of making sure these young players develop into future stars with Chicago is Jeremy Colliton. At least until the end of the 2022-23 season.
• Colliton is going to be in charge of the next group of Blackhawks to hopefully lead the organization back to NHL prominence. Five of those players landed on The Athletic’s Corey Pronman’s Top 154 players Under 23-years-old list. Kirby Dach (15th), Adam Boqvist (52nd), Lukas Reichel (114th), Alexander Nylander (117th), and Ian Mitchell (145th) are all represented within the piece. Check it out.
• While we’re on the subject of lists and The Athletic, Scott Wheeler gave us his Top 20 Calder Trophy list for who will win NHL’s rookie of the year honors. Defenseman Ian Mitchell makes an appearance.
• There’s a good amount to be intrigued by within the Blackhawks farm system and we are likely to see a good amount of it on full display with the Blackhawks this season.
• Over the past two days, Blackhawks made roster cuts to their training camp roster and have narrowed down to their final roster ahead of tomorrow night’s season-opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
#Blackhawks active roster
Forwards: Carpenter, DeBrincat, Hagel, Highmore, Janmark, Kampf, Kane, Kubalik, Kurashev, Pirri, Shaw, Strome, Suter, Wallmark
Defensemen: Beaudin, Boqvist, Carlsson, de Haan, Kalynuk, Keith, Mitchell, Murphy, Zadorov
Goalies: Delia, Lankinen, Subban
— Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) January 11, 2021
• If you need more help understanding who the Blackhawks are this season, we’ve got you covered. Check out our “Getting to Know” series ahead of Wednesday night’s puck drop with the forwards, defensemen, and goalie groups.
• Seems like Carl Söderberg was finally able to get to Chicago. He’ll join the team after the road trip against the Lightning and Panthers.
#Blackhawks VP of Hockey Ops and GM Stan Bowman says Carl Soderberg has obtained his Visa and traveled to Chicago, now serving his seven-day quarantine. Hopeful to join the team after the opening road trip.
— Carter Baum (@CarterBaum) January 12, 2021
• If you missed it yesterday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly addressed the media ahead of the 2021 season. They painted a grim financial picture for the league ahead. *insert sweating Jordan Peele gif*
• Oh yeah, Happy Birthday Hoss:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 12, 2021
• And a Happy Birthday to David Kämpf:
• While we are in a celebratory mood, congratulations to Willie O’Ree! O’Ree, the NHL’s first Black player, is getting his #22 retired by the Bruins in February:
A well-deserved honor for one of our game's greatest ambassadors.
The #NHLBruins are proud to announce that Willie O'Ree's No. 22 will be raised to the TD Garden rafters.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 12, 2021
• Folks, we are mere hours away from puck drop! Hockey is (nearly) BACK: