New Lawsuit Developments, Shea Weber’s Health Concerns, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

You may notice a little less content from me on our Bleacher Nation Blackhawks page and social media channels over the next few days. But I have a good reason … I will be in Texas for a friend’s bachelor party. Thoughts and prayers are much appreciated!

We’ll still have the morning bullets for you everyday and at least one other post (… and coverage of any breaking news), but that’s IT, you greedy punks.

Okay, onward.

•   In case you missed the news this morning, the Blackhawks may be the “front-runners” in a trade for elite defenseman Seth Jones.

•   The acquisition cost remains an enormous hurdle in any such deal, but there does appear to be genuine interest on all sides.

 

•   My friends, we are inching ever closer to the Seattle Expansion Draft. Protection lists are due this weekend and the Kraken will make their picks on Wednesday, July 21st. The Blackhawks have had some protection spots open up this offseason with the trade of Duncan Keith and the update that Alex Nylander will not need protection due to missing the season with an injury. Stay tuned for more.

•   One player who missed the 2020-21 season due to injury, but came back to his team in time for the postseason was Nikita Kucherov. He made quite the impact on the Lightning on their way to dispatching the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final.

•   The Captain of those Montreal Canadiens, Shea Weber, is now facing the possibility of missing the 2021-22 season, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.

•   More on Weber’s status from Pierre LeBrun…

•   Weber, who turns 36-years-old in August, has been with the Canadiens since the 2016-17 season. He just played in his first-ever Stanley Cup Final, but with injuries piling up, he may be facing not just a season-threatening injure, but a career-threatening one.

•   If would be a shame to see such a competitor like Weber, who terrorized the Blackhawks for years as a member of the Nashville Predators, to have his career cut-short due to injury. We’ll see where it goes for him.

•   Not only is the Seattle Expansion Draft coming up shortly, but so is the NHL Entry Draft. Set to take place on July 23-24, the league made the formal, official, announcement for the order of selection. With the Arizona Coyotes forfeiting their first-round pick, which was 11th overall, the draft order has been off by one spot this entire time.

•   Now with the league making it official, the Blackhawks will make the 11th pick in the first round of the draft, but it will be recognized as the 12th pick overall. So every time we’ve said that the Blackhawks have the 11th overall pick, just change it in your head to say the 12th pick.

•   Chicago’s official picks in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft are: 12th, 44th, 62nd, 105th, 108th, 172nd, 204th, and 216th.

•   Looking at the top draft needs of each NHL team, I would disagree with The Atheltic’s Corey Pronman on what he says the Blackhawks biggest need is in the draft this year.

•   We’ve talked a lot about the top prospects that the Blackhawks should have on their radar, and while I have mentioned some players who could fit what Pronman says the Blackhawks need, I still feel that their biggest need is a top-line center.

•   They could get that in this year’s draft with the 11th…12th overall pick.

•   Semi-related to the Blackhawks news, the Portland Winterhawks unveiled their new logo yesterday afternoon. The re-brand gives the Winterhawks their very own logo and identity for the first time since the team’s founding in 1976.

•   Previously, the Winterhawks logo was a 99% recreation of the Blackhawks logo. But the Winterhawks now have their own look and I have to say, I like it.

•   Here’s the full look on the Winterhawks uniforms, which again, are designed after the Blackhawks.

•   Man, I wish Chicago would bring back the all-black alternate sweaters. They look so good.

•   In actual Blackhawks news, new developments coming from TSN’s Rick Westhead regarding the lawsuits and allegations against the team and the independent review being done by Jenner & Block, the law firm hired by the Blackhawks.

•   In case you missed it, Westhead spoke with former Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel about the allegations and Sopel said that he doesn’t believe his former teammates, some of which are still playing for or employed by the Blackhawks, are telling the truth about the situation.

•   Also within Westhead’s latest report was a statement that Joel Quenneville, who was the head coach in Chicago in 2010, would cooperate with the independent review.

•   Understandably, there would be no further comments from Quenneville.

•   We’ll keep up with this story as things continue to develop.

•   In minor-league news, the Rockford IceHogs are bringing back 2020-21 Captain Garrett Mitchell for the 2021-22 season.

•   Mitchell was an incredible mentor to the young IceHogs squad and helped the team navigate one of the most difficult hockey seasons to date, especially at the AHL level, where some teams had to opt-out of the year. Great to see him coming back to Rockford.

•   When the 2021-22 season does get underway, the BMO Harris Bank Center, home to the IceHogs, may look a bit different.

•   When the Blackhawks purchased their AHL affiliate, part of the deal was to provide updates and renovations to the BMO Harris Bank Center. Those are underway. Can’t wait to see, IN PERSON, what the new-look BMO is going to be like.

•   Also in AHL news, the Vancouver Canucks have moved their AHL affiliate from Utica, New York to Abbotsford, British Columbia. Along with the new location, the team has a new name. What was once known as the Utica Comets, will now be known as the…Abbotsford…Canucks.

•   Yup. The Canucks and the Canucks. Real original. But hey, at least they are using the awesome skating lumberjack logo that Vancouver used to have. So props for that, at least.

•   Finally, I’ll leave you with some great content from the finale of the ESPN+ program “Quest for the Stanley Cup.” Fresh off of winning his second consecutive Stanley Cup as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jon Cooper has words of sympathy and encouragement for the Canadiens players, most of them rookies, in the final handshake line.

•   More and more, Jon Cooper continues to grow on me as maybe the best coach in the league.

•   Helps to have the most talent in the league as well. But hey, at least he admits his job is easy.

•   That will do it for today. Enjoy your Thursday!

written by

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

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