Good Monday morning to you. Hope you are ready to attack the work week with all the vigor and go-getting attitude you can muster. Remember to take the time to check in on yourself and others around you when you can. It’s important to take a self-evaluation and mental health check once in a while. Just to make sure you’re good, and if you need help getting to a point where you are good, know that there are plenty of people who are available to help you and want you to be your best self, including me.
You got this.
• Sometimes, doing something good for yourself is a way to help your own mental health, like taking in a cross-town rivalry baseball game. Much like Brandon Hagel, Lukas Reichel, and Philipp Kurashev did this weekend at Guaranteed Rate Field for the Cubs and White Sox…
• Cannot confirm or deny if these three were at all involved in the ridiculous bleacher brawls that happened between cross-town fans. But going by Reichel’s boxing skills showcased on Saturday, he’d be best to not be involved.
• Speaking of Reichel’s appearance on Saturday for the Blackhawks, The Athletic’s Scott Powers caught up with the 2020 first-round draft pick ahead of his first professional season in North America…
"I will work every day hard and try to make the team. That’s my goal.”
Lukas Reichel has been working this offseason to be NHL-ready as soon as he enters Blackhawks training camp. He arrived to Chicago early to smooth his transition. My story: https://t.co/rvl49H0vq4
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) August 29, 2021
• The biggest takeaway from Scott’s discussion with Reichel is his decision on why he is wearing No. 27 now: “Reichel plans to wear No. 27, which became free when the Blackhawks traded Adam Boqvist this offseason. Reichel said he chose the number because his older brother, Thomas Reichel, wears the same number in Germany.” No but really, I recommend reading the full interview to get a sense of where Reichel’s head is as he prepares for his first pro season with the Blackhawks organization.
• Reichel comes to a Blackhawks team that is ready to have a breakout after a number of sub-par seasons that have not lived up to the standards that previous Blackhawks teams have set in Chicago. Head coach Jeremy Colliton will, likely, have his first full season behind the bench with Chicago and has a mixture of young players, new veterans, and a rebuilt on-the-fly core of players that still centers around Patrick Kane and a healthy Jonathan Toews.
My sit-down this week with Jeremy Colliton was the first in-person, 1-on-1 Blackhawks interview I've done since March 2020.
Besides producing this interesting story, it was an encouraging sign for NHL media access slowly returning. https://t.co/qDg1f85MYb
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) August 29, 2021
• Chicago Sun-Times’ Ben Pope spoke with Colliton ahead of the 2021-22 season, as he approaches a major opportunity to prove that he is not in over his head and is not a transitional coach in Chicago. Again, highly recommend reading the full interview above.
• Good thing for Colliton moving into this season, he has a higher number of players that will be on the illustrious NHL Network Top 50 NHL players rankings list this year than he has in previous seasons. Yes, it’s that time of year again…
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 29, 2021
• Well hey, at least they’ve already go two on the board, right?
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 29, 2021
• This is the reason why I’ve decided to go the route of the Pyramid, when it comes to ranking players and prospects. The numerical lists lead to nothing but non-sensical arguments where banging your head against concrete would end up being a better use of your time. But hey, two Blackhawks already in the top 50 with at least two more (Patrick Kane and Marc-André Fleury) likely on the way. Hash Tag summer content, amirite?
• Switching gears to something to actually be excited about, the groups for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics are finally set…
Denmark, Latvia and Slovakia won the final three qualifying spots for Beijing 2022 Men’s Hockey.
Groups are now set:
Grp A: Canada, USA, Germany, China.
Grp B: Russia, Czech, Swiss, Denmark.
Grp C: Finland, Sweden, Slovakia, Latvia.
Next question: NHL going?#Beijing2022
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) August 29, 2021
• Like Frank asks, will the NHL actually be sending players to the Beijing Winter Olympics?
• Well, according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, a decision on that should be coming some time this week and all signs are starting to point to Olympic participation from the NHL being the maybe, kind of, could be, likely decision.
The NHL plans to have All Star in Las Vegas either way.
If NHL players are going to the Olympics, they’ll keep already released schedule (w/ 16-day Olympic break) and players will fly to Beijing on Sunday from Vegas.
If NHL players aren’t going, new schedule will be released.
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) August 29, 2021
• My body is ready.
• Ending today’s bullets by celebrating the newest Blackhawks fan in the world, Bella Carpenter!
• Congratulations to Ryan and Alexis! Welcome to Girl-Dadhood Ryan, I’ll be joining you soon!
• That’ll do it for today. Hope you all have a good Monday!