Good Monday morning to you. Probably a better one than the Blackhawks organization is having after the weekend they endured in the online world. With the comments of former players like Dan Carcillo and Robin Lehner, the Blackhawks were again put front and center in the hockey world for their off-ice issues.
• With Lehner going off about the league’s handling of medication, rehab, and injuries, he spoke about former teams he had been on giving him non-prescribed sleeping pills and pain medications to try to push him back from injuries. You can find all of Lehner’s and Carcillo’s comments here if you missed them:
Robin Lehner Brought a Flamethrower to the NHL Yesterday https://t.co/q6b0XuTZJU
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) October 3, 2021
• Lehner caught the attention of the league for his online comments and met with the league offices on Sunday to clarify some of what he said.
Robin Lehner clarifies: he never was accusing Alain Vigneault of distributing pills to players. His claim was about the way the coach treats players, which he believes is unacceptable.
Lehner had a good call with the NHLPA yesterday. We’ll see what comes of the story this week.
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) October 4, 2021
• The immediate response of the NHL to what Lehner was alleging didn’t sit well with many who have called out the league for their handling of the sexual assault allegations against the Blackhawks organization, as well as other controversies that Chicago has been the center of, including former player Akim Aliu’s allegations of racial abuse while he was with the organization.
After Akim Aliu alleged racism derailed his career, the NHL promised in Dec 2019 to commission an investigation to scrutinize the behaviour of execs with the Blackhawks, Jets, and their minor-league teams.
Two years later, Aliu is still waiting to hear what the NHL discovered. https://t.co/jMlSYs08t6
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) October 3, 2021
• It’s bad for the Blackhawks.
• More from our friend Rick Westhead of TSN, as he provides an update to the timeline of the two sexual assault allegation lawsuits pending against the club.
The Blackhawks have 2 weeks to respond to the plaintiff's latest legal brief and then the judge will decide on the NHL team's motions to dismiss.
We should find out sometime in November whether either of these abuse lawsuits moves to the discovery stage.
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) October 4, 2021
• With the beginning of the regular season just over a week away, this will continue to be an off-ice issue that the organization will have to deal with well into the season.
• Ok, on-ice stuff now. The Rockford IceHogs open their AHL training camp today and hold their first two preseason games on Thursday and Friday! Here is who will be participating in IceHogs training camp:
TRAINING CAMP: IceHogs training camp officially starts today! We open camp with 13 players and prepare for preseason action on Thursday & Friday at Iowa. https://t.co/Wm1gV8ltC9
— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) October 4, 2021
• There are still a good amount of players in Blackhawks training camp that will eventually end up with the IceHogs in the AHL as their season and the NHL season get underway in just over a week. One of the players on the fence of the NHL and AHL this preseason has been defenseman Ian Mitchell. After bursting onto the Blackhawks NHL roster last season, Mitchell hit a wall in the middle of the year and ended up splitting all of his first professional season with the IceHogs and Blackhawks. More from Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times:
Ian Mitchell, humble as always, learned from his struggles last season.
An AHL assignment to start this season wouldn't come as a disappointment, but it'll make it "that much more sweet" when he re-earns an NHL job.
New story: https://t.co/lpkNDXdxR3
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) October 3, 2021
• This year might end up being the same for the former second-round pick by the Blackhawks, but for Mitchell’s development, it might be the best route. I’d have no problem with him being a top-pair player in Rockford, rather than sitting in the press box in Chicago.
• One defenseman who will not be in the press box in Chicago, and will probably be playing on the top-pair with Seth Jones, Jake McCabe is hoping to play his first NHL postseason games in Chicago, a city he has called his offseason home for a half-dozen years. More from Mark Lazerus of The Athletic:
Chicago has been Jake McCabe's offseason home for years. Now he's made it his full-time home as he chases his first playoff berth with the Blackhawks. @ByScottPowers got lunch with him recently to introduce him to Blackhawks fans: https://t.co/3O6PH3eyvy
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) October 4, 2021
• While Seth Jones and Marc-André Fleury have grabbed the most headlines of the new players coming to the Blackhawks, McCabe might be the most underrated addition Chicago made this summer that could make one of the biggest impacts on the blue-line.
• From around the league, Team Canada has announced their first three players that will be named to the 2022 Winter Olympic roster. No surprises here.
Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Alex Pietrangelo were named to the 2022 Olympic team.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) October 3, 2021
• Have to image that Patrick Kane will be one of the three mandatory players announced for Team USA when they make their selections. I mean, Stan Bowman is still the GM of the U.S. Winter Olympics squad for the time being.
• Other news around the league, Oilers forward Josh Archibald will not be able to play this season for Edmonton after being diagnosed with Myocarditis, a heart condition he developed after contracting COVID earlier in the year.
EDM coach Dave Tippett announces Josh Archibald out indefinitely. He had COVID in the summer and has been diagnosed with the heart condition myocarditis.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 3, 2021
• This is a serious condition and it is awful that Archibald’s season, and potentially his career, might be in jeopardy. But my sympathy for him runs thin…
Oilers' Josh Archibald's anti-vaccine + conspiratorial stances led to him contracting COVID-19 and being diagnosed with myocarditis. pic.twitter.com/TM4Egucsd1
— ahmarskhan (@AhmarSKhan) October 3, 2021
• Archibald and teammate Alex Stalock both will miss this season due to developing heart conditions after having COVID.
For reference, these were his comments earlier this week regarding the league’s stance with the vaccine: https://t.co/i4Led9ab9M
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) October 3, 2021
• Just get the G-D vaccine. What are we even doing anymore?
• Good news: the Bears are back and Dylan Strome was in the building for the real start of the Justin Fields era of football in Chicago.
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) October 3, 2021
• It’S jUSt tHe LioNs – shut up they needed this.
Soldier Fields' Day at the Lake: BEARS 24, LIONS 14 https://t.co/vPo7yitSLt
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) October 3, 2021
• That will do it for today. Hope you all have a great Monday!