Training Camp After Three Days, Players On The Fence, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Training Camp After Three Days, Players On The Fence, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

It’s a Blackhawks off-day today after completing the first three days of training camp. A time to regroup after the whirlwind of getting camp open and the 2021-22 season underway. Wouldn’t be surprised to maybe see a few players make the trek up to Whistling Straits for the Ryder Cup in Wisconsin, since Jake McCabe was advocating for that kind of team bonding trip prior to training camp. Wouldn’t mind a day of golf myself on a day like today.

•   The day off is great for players to reset their bodies and minds following the opening of camp and the first real on-ice workouts of the season. It can also be a day to shake off the frustrations some might have following a bad day on the ice.

•   Marc-André Fleury’s personality and likability have always been at the fore-front of who he is as a person and as a teammate. But his competitiveness on the ice in practice, is something that you don’t always see. So far in camp, Fleury has started to get a friendly rivalry going with Patrick Kane and that can only make those two better as the season approaches.

•   We’ve only seen three days of the Blackhawks in practice, but so far the lines and pairings have been relatively consistent. With the top two lines and top two defensive pairings remaining the same through the first three days, the bottom of the rotations got a new look in the ‘A’ group on Saturday.

•   Defensively, the Blackhawks’ “new look” blue-line is going to be anchored by players like Seth Jones, Connor Murphy, and Jake McCabe. We knew that coming in. But how those three, plus Calvin de Haan, will rotate or be paired once the season starts will dictate a lot of what the “new look” will actually turn into. Jeremy Colliton has a defensive group now that he didn’t inherit and had control over what he wanted to build to play how he wants to play in the defensive zone. Added mobility on the blue-line should hopefully translate into a faster defensive group and faster transitions out of their own zone.

•   In the forwards group, the change on Saturday saw players that are on the fence of making the NHL lineup get moved into the ‘A’ group with Adam Gaudette, Alex Nylander, and Henrik Borgström playing in bottom-six roles. Blackhawks fans have seen a “full” season of Alex Nylander and a small sample of Gaudette from last season, but Borgström remains a variable unknown. After playing last season in Finland following a few unassuming years with the Panthers, Borgström comes into training camp looking to prove with the Blackhawks that he still can be an everyday player in the NHL.

•   More from Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times on Borgström:

•   Something that I can’t stop thinking about is the Blackhawks’ infatuation with the 2018 Hobey Baker Award Finalists. Out of the top 10 finalists for the NCAA’s top player award that year, five are currently playing for or have played for the Blackhawks organization: Adam Gaudette, Henrik Borgström, Dylan Sikura, Cale Morris, and Dylan McLaughlin.

•   More on the first three days of training camp from The Athletic’s Scott Powers:

•   In here, Powers talks about rookie defenseman Jakub Galvas. After playing the last five seasons in Europe at the professional ranks, the 22-year-old Czech defenseman comes into training camp unlike many of the other rookies. Prior to signing his entry-level deal with the Blackhawks, Galvas already has 198 professional regular season games under his belt, plus another 16 playoff games of experience. He’s getting his first taste of North American hockey through training camp, but don’t be surprised if Galvas’ transition to the smaller ice goes smoother than others in the past.

•   Galvas and the other Blackhawks prospects were on display at the Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase against the Minnesota Wild prior to training camp, but the players weren’t the only ones on display.

•   Former 2010 Stanley Cup Champion with the Blackhawks and current development coach Brian Campbell was part of the coaching staff for the prospects and has overseen the development of some of the young players to come through the system in recent years. His work with the young defensemen in the system helped a player like Adam Boqvist turn into an NHL regular, before being traded, and it might help do the same for a prospect like Galvas.

•   A reminder: no practice today.

•   Also a reminder: the Justin Fields era begins today.

•   That will do it for this Sunday edition. Hope you all have a great day ahead of you.

•   Also, I will be heading down to Blackhawks training camp practice tomorrow. If you have any players you want my expert scouting reports on while I’m there, let me know!



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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