An Alleged Cover-Up, Defensive Group Reports, Brayden Point-Streak, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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An Alleged Cover-Up, Defensive Group Reports, Brayden Point-Streak, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Yesterday was a BANNER day for the Chicago Blackhawks. I hope you sense my heavy sarcasm. But this is not a great time for jokes. This is seriously rotten business.

•   In case you missed the news yesterday, the sexual assault lawsuit filed against the Blackhawks by former members of the team, stemming from incidents in 2010, was given another caveat. According to a report from TSN’s Rick Westhead, Blackhawks upper management at the time, including Stan Bowman, John McDonough, and Al MacIsaac, were alerted to the sexual abuse and harassment allegations against then video coach Brad Aldrich. They were asked to bring the reports to the Chicago Police sex crimes division. They allegedly denied that request from then team skills coach Paul Vincent, who was told of the incidents by the former players.

•   This case has gotten worse and worse, as they always do, as more information has come out. There is no “best-case scenario” for the organization right now as these allegations stand. If these allegations against the team and Brad Aldrich are true, ANYONE who had knowledge of the incidents and did nothing should be held accountable. Fired, they should be fired. At this point, I don’t care who it is, they should be gone. Bowman, MacIsaac, Wirtz, however far up the chain this information got and nothing was done, gone. I’m over trying to sugarcoat and play nice with this organization. You want to present yourself as the gold standard franchise in the NHL, act like it. This ain’t it.

•   Also, it’s Pride Month. Maybe try to be inclusive to your LGBTQ+ fanbase?

•   Still bare on the social media channels and the team website. But hey, Hockey Is For Everyone, right?

•   What else?

•   Oh, yeah: Nikita Zadorov is delusional.

•   According to a report from The Athletic’s Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus, the Russian defenseman and his camp are seeking a five-year, $5.85M AAV deal this offseason. Boy bye.

•   More from that encompassing report from Lazerus and Powers, it appears the Blackhawks are going to be players in the Dougie Hamilton and Seth Jones markets this offseason.

•   The Blackhawks have a need for a true No. 1 defenseman in their blue-line core. Hamilton and Jones would be the best defenseman on the team if they landed in Chicago. But what will it take for the Blackhawks, who are already at 41 out of 50 NHL contracts for next season, to land either defenseman?

•   Also, who would want to come to the Blackhawks now? Lawsuits, a rebuild, possibly no Jonathan Toews. This is not the Blackhawks of the early 2010’s any longer.

•   At least there’s one player the franchise can hang their hat on.

•   The annual NHLPA Player Poll named Patrick Kane three times for Best Stick-Handler, Best Passer, and the player you most want on your team to win one game.

•   In real awards news, the Jack Adams Award for the NHL Coach of the Year goes to Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour, with Minnesota’s Dean Evason finishing second in voting and Florida’s Joel Quenneville finishing third in voting.

•   Always the good quote, Brind’Amour was not impressed with his job this season with the Hurricanes.

•   Here is the full breakdown of the Jack Adams Award voting. You’ll see a familiar name down at the bottom.

•   Yes, Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton received one single third-place vote. The same as New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz. The same Barry Trotz who has the Islanders in the Stanley Cup Semifinals. So it’s not an exact science.

•   Speaking of the Islanders, there was Stanley Cup Playoff action last night at Nassau Coliseum for Game Three between the Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning with the series tied 1-1. Jimmy Fallon and Ralph Macchio were in the house looking to see the Islanders take a 2-1 series lead.

https://twitter.com/TheReplayGuy/status/1405699445199720449?s=20

•   The Lightning had other plans though.

•   Much like Macchio’s Crane Kick move in the Karate Kid, the Lightning took a 1-1 game late into the second period and Brayden Point provided the knockout shot with his 11th goal this postseason with just seconds remaining in the middle period.

•   Remember a few weeks back at the beginning of the Stanley Cup Playoffs when I said, as good as you think Brayden Point is, he’s better? Well, case in point.

•   It kind of is absolutely hilarious and believable that Point, who was called for a bogus goaltender interference call in Game Two, scores a goal on another player where, by the NHL Refs standards in these playoffs, there could have been another goaltender interference call.

•   That makes it 11 goals in 14 games for Point. He leads the league in postseason goals this year and did the same last postseason with 14 goals in 23 games.

•   Point is one of four players still active in these Stanley Cup Playoffs that is playing at a point-per-game pace. All four players (Point, Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov) are on the Lightning…

•   And not only are the big four for the Lightning leading the way, they have defending Vezina Trophy winner and 2021 nominee Andrei Vasilevskiy playing at the top of his game.

•   Vasilevskiy has the most wins, best save-percentage, second-best GAA, and has seen the most shots against him of any goaltender in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has the Lightning two wins away from going back to the Stanley Cup Final to defend their 2020 Cup.

•   Tampa Bay takes their 2-1 series lead into Game Four in New York on Saturday night for a 7:00 p.m. CT puck drop. Game Three between the Montreal Canadiens and Vegas Golden Knights happens tonight, also a 7:00 p.m. CT puck drop happening at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

•   News this morning, Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme is being held out of morning practice due to COVID test irregularities.

•   Hopefully all will be fine with Ducharme and he will be able to be behind the bench for the Canadiens tonight. After starting the series in Vegas with a full capacity crowd at the T-Mobile Arena, the Canadiens play host to 3,500 fans tonight for Game Three. It will be different than the games in Vegas for sure, but don’t count out a crowd of Canadians to make 3,500 people sound like 18,000.

•   In other news around the league, the Seattle Kraken appear to be closing in on naming their first head coach in franchise history.

•   This was a bit of a heavier edition of Blackhawks bullets. But sometimes, that’s life. So to lighten the mood as you head into your Friday, I highly recommend reading this Twitter thread from Lee Sanderlin as he went through a fantasy football punishment that I would never wish upon anyone. It is truly a wild and entertaining ride.

•   That’ll do it for today, enjoy your Friday!



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.