It was such a relief, last night, to hear Chicago Blackhawks GM and President of Hockey Ops Stan Bowman address the rumors surrounding the health of Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews. Whatever weight you put on things you hear or read on the internet, the amount of rumors that had started to circulate would worry even the biggest skeptic. But to hear from Bowman that there had been no developments to report, and that some of those rumors out there are not true, was a weight off the shoulders of Blackhawks fans everywhere.
• Bowman downplayed the rumors, categorizing Toews’ health as “status quo.” In a conversation with The Daily Herald’s John Dietz, Bowman explained that “It’s not like we have information that we’re not sharing. It’s a situation where it’s just the great unknown when he’ll be feeling ready to play hockey again.”
• Toews’ health comes first. We all want him to be back to 100%. If he feels like he can get back to 100% and return to the Blackhawks, all the better.
• Also mentioned in Dietz’s discussion with Bowman is that Brent Seabrook is still dealing with his back issues that kept him out of training camp. Bowman explained “He had been really ready to go and he was feeling great. Now he’s taken a step backward. Once he does get back to skating then he’s gonna have to catch up and build himself up.”
• Seabrook has reportedly not been on the ice since tweaking his back in early January. It appears he is still taking it day by day to see when he may be able to get back skating and get back with the team. Seabrook last played in an NHL game on December 15, 2019. He turns 36-years-old in April.
• Speaking of Blackhawks defensemen, Chicago signed Madison Bowey on Thursday to a two-year deal. Bowey was placed on waivers and will either join the Taxi Squad or be sent to the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL.
• Bowey’s signing is a head-scratcher. The Blackhawks have plenty of players to step into the NHL lineup already on the Taxi Squad. The IceHogs started AHL training camp with only 8 defensemen, so it could be a numbers game in Rockford that led to the signing. Here’s another consideration:
Bowey on a 2 year deal, and by playing 1 more NHL game, will meet the minimum exposure requirements for the expansion draft.
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) January 28, 2021
• It would be a bit reassuring knowing that the Blackhawks would not have to expose Connor Murphy to the upcoming Seattle Expansion Draft.
• After having Adam Boqvist and Alex DeBrincat, then later Lucas Wallmark land on the NHL COVID Protocol list earlier this week, it was reassuring to see that no other players or staff were added to this list on Thursday.s
No additional #Blackhawks were added to NHL's COVID-19 protocol today.
Adam Boqvist, Alex DeBrincat and Lucas Wallmark remain on the list.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) January 28, 2021
• A Happy 56th Birthday to former Blackhawks goaltender Dominik Hašek!
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 29, 2021
• The Blackhawks play the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first two times this season starting tonight and Sunday night. Hopefully they don’t have to deal with Alexandre Texier in the shootout…
• Speaking of pretty sweet goals, congratulations to 2020 first-overall pick Alexis Lafrenière for netting his first career NHL goal and first overtime winner!
No. 1️⃣ for No. 1️⃣.
No moment too big for the kid. pic.twitter.com/uwonYZHT4t
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 29, 2021
• And again, speaking of first goals, how about Zdeno Chara getting his first goal as a member of the Washington Capitals?!
Zdeno Chara with a BLAST and that’s his first goal for the @Capitals! 🚀
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 29, 2021
• And what is a goof Friday edition of Blackhawks Bullets without some good dog content. The Devils has a good boy loose in the arena!