Prospect Showcase Begins, Happy Birthday Q, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Prospect Showcase Begins, Happy Birthday Q, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

It’s starting to get more real that the NHL season is right around the corner. There are Blackhawks players skating in a formal practice today. And it’s the opening day of the Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase in St. Paul, Minnesota where the Blackhawks and Wild will hold a mini-camp ahead of both teams opening training camp in the next week.

•   After the release of the prospect rosters for the Blackhawks, we went through and found a number of youngsters to keep an eye on during this week’s showcase including Colton Dach, Nolan Allan, and Lukas Reichel.

•   The Blackhawks and Wild will hold practices today and tomorrow with the first of two scrimmages coming on Friday night. You can find the information for how to watch the showcase here…

•   Also, this is first post from our newest Bleacher Nation Staff Writer, Patrick Flowers!

•   We’re excited to bring Patrick into the Bleacher Nation family. You’re going to be seeing a lot of his work across all of our Bleacher Nation sites, so be sure to give him a follow on Twitter!

•   Speaking of family, the Blackhawks community will always have a place at the table for their favorite uncle, Joel Quenneville. Today, the three-time Stanley Cup Champion coach celebrates his 63rd birthday!

•   Want a throwback video sure to get you in your feelings? Of course you do…

•   I miss Q.

•   From a former Blackhawk to a Blackhawk that will make his debut this season, Tyler Johnson will be honored by his former WHL team this season as the Spokane Chiefs announced they will retire Johnson’s No. 9.

•   Johnson, a Spokane, Washington-native, played four seasons with the Chiefs from 2007-2011 and skated in over 300 combined regular season and postseason games. He was named the WHL playoff MVP in 2008 after helping the Chiefs win the Ed Chynoweth Cup and eventually win the 2008 Memorial Cup. He also led the WHL in goals with 53 in 71 games during 2010-11. Johnson has also been a Calder Cup Champion, was named the AHL MVP in 2012-13, and of course is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Tampa Bay Lightning. What more can he add to his resume now with Chicago?

•   After the passing of former Blackhawk Jimmy Hayes, the out-pouring of love for him and his family was tremendous. Former teammate Patrick Kane, who called Hayes his favorite teammate ever, left a parting message for the Missing Curfew Podcast, which Hayes was a co-host of with Scottie Upshall and Shane O’Brien.

•   There’s really no good way to transition this, but yesterday the world lost one of the funniest comedians of all-time with the passing of Norm MacDonald.

•   MacDonald, a Quebec-native, was one of the most unique comics in my lifetime and with his passing yesterday, I found myself going down a rabbit hole of content from MacDonald over the years. It was incredible how funny he could be, just by being himself. He was 61.

•   In league news yesterday, Turner Sports announced their broadcast teams for the future of the NHL on the network…

•   I like what TNT will bring to the NHL table, except for the inclusion of former player Paul Bissonnette from Spittin’ Chiclets fame. Turner sports and the NHL know the bed they are laying in, and I’ll leave it at that.

•   Another sweater tweak for the Colorado Avalanche as they have added more shades of blue to their uniform set.

•   Are they trying to become more like the Quebec Nordiques of old? The color mixture is starting to get worse for the Avalanche, if you ask me.

•   That will do it for today. I hope you all have a better Wednesday than Mikhail Mamkin of Spartak Moskva did…

•   How to lose a goalie’s trust 101 right there.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

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