Almost Everyone Is Vaccinated, Fleury and Jones in Blackhawks Gear, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Almost Everyone Is Vaccinated, Fleury and Jones in Blackhawks Gear, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Today is starting off on the right foot for the Blackhawks and the NHL. We have a training camp schedule, new vaccination information, and our first look at two of the newest and most important Blackhawks of the 2021-22 season in their new gear. The sun is shining by me and I have my morning coffee. The only thing that could make this day better is ice cream.

Bonus points to you if you get that last reference.

•   Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff is reporting that the NHL is expecting its players to be at a 98% vaccination rate heading into the 2021-22 season, according to Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

•   The league is expecting around 10-15 players that will be unvaccinated heading into the season and with the league’s strict COVID-19 protocols, it will (for better or worse) likely be easy for the general public to figure out who are those 10-15 players. Here’s to hoping the entire league can reach 100% by the start of the season or soon after so as to have the best chance to have a healthy, successful season.

•   The NHL is currently holding their Media Tour in Chicago, which means all the movers and shakers in the league are in town, with some of the biggest names in the league on display for some pre-season media opportunities. That includes newest Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-André Fleury, as he showed off his new set of goalie pads in this first look at him in full gear.

•   Don’t let the Vegas helmet fool you, those pads are brown, not golden. With the red, black, and white accents, these are 100% Fleury’s new pads. The brown leather look makes me believe that Fleury is honoring former Blackhawks goaltender Tony Esposito with his look this season. Can’t wait to see them in action.

•   Along with Fleury, the other newest Blackhawks player at the NHL Media Tour getting his first look in full Chicago gear is defenseman Seth Jones. It also gave him an opportunity to reunite briefly with his former Blue Jackets teammate Zach Werenski.

•   Fleury and Jones look good in their new duds, hopefully the old adage “Look good, play good. Play good, pay good.” rubs off on them and the rest of the team.

•   You’ll notice that Jones and Fleury have No. 35 patches on their sweaters, another honor to the late Tony Esposito. The Blackhawks will also have Esposito’s No. 35 painted on the ice behind both nets this season at the United Center.

•   The number painted on the ice and the patch on the shoulder are both the same for what Chicago did to honor Stan Mikita during the 2018-19 season.

•   With training camp now officially one week away (more on the schedule, which was finally released, soon!), we’ll bring you a few position battles to keep an eye on as the Blackhawks get their preseason underway. Yesterday, we started off with the battle in net to be the backup to assumed starter Marc-André Fleury.

•   While Kevin Lankinen is likely already penciled-in at that backup spot, Collin Delia and Malcolm Subban are not going to be ones to just let him have it. It will be interesting to see how that backup role plays out as the season approaches.

•   The rest of the NHL is getting ready for training camp too, including the Edmonton Oilers and their newest defenseman…Duncan Keith…

•   This is just plain wrong. I will not accept this as reality.

•   Not to leave you on a sour note today, so here is something really cool to see. At Tampa Bay Lightning practice, former USA Hockey Olympian Julie Chu was running a number of drills.

•   Chu was brought in by the Lightning this summer as a guest coach to help with prospect development camp and training camp. Pretty awesome

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all have a great Thursday!

•   Now where’s that ice cream…

Author: Mario Tirabassi

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