Six days until the NHL regular season begins, seven days from the first Blackhawks regular season game, and the club’s opening night roster is almost as open a competition as when it started. Chicago still have 45 players in training camp, but with just two preseason games left, both against the Minnesota Wild, the Blackhawks have just one more true “audition” game left before setting up their opening night roster.
• 🎶And we’re the
three four best friends that anyone could have!🎶
Bye-bye summer time Chi
Hello hockey season pic.twitter.com/O9iGUIyP4I
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 5, 2021
• Seems like Marc-André Fleury is quickly becoming not only a fan favorite, but a team favorite. But that should come at no surprise.
• With saves like these, who needs enemies?
How on Earth did Marc-Andre Fleury makes this save against Robby Fabbri?@MikeMcKenna56, our expert goalie analyst, takes a deep dive to explain how Fleury's fundamentals made this all work.
— DailyFaceoff.com Hockey (@DFOHockey) October 5, 2021
• Checkout the full breakdown by former NHL and AHL goaltender Mike McKenna ion Fleury’s incredible save from Monday night’s win over the Red Wings above. Great insight from the Daily Faceoff group, which has quickly become a must-follow for their work.
• In case you missed it yesterday, the Blackhawks bubble of players got a bit thinner as Brett Connolly was placed on waivers and Wyatt Kalynuk suffered a minor ankle injury.
Blackhawks Place Brett Connolly on Waivers, Wyatt Kalynuk Could Miss “Weeks” with Ankle Injury https://t.co/zng6ZDtL59
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) October 5, 2021
• The Blackhawks still have twice as many players in training camp as they are allowed to have on the active NHL roster as we approach the final two games of the preseason. The competitions for the middle and bottom-six forwards group, as well as the defensive rotation are still open, even with a few players making strides in the past two preseason games. Today’s practice session groups and tomorrow’s preseason game against the Wild should provide the final opportunities for these bubble players to make their impressions on the Blackhawks staff.
• One interesting player in the group still in Chicago is veteran IceHog Dmitry Osipov. After spending the last three seasons in the ECHL and AHL with the organization as a defenseman, Osipov is making the transition this preseason to playing as a forward. Scott Powers of The Athletic has more on Osipov’s change and hopes to land an NHL contract with the Blackhawks:
Once a defenseman, Dmitri Osipov is now trying to earn an NHL contract with the Blackhawks as a forward https://t.co/3mWpyMprGn
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) October 6, 2021
• Want to feel old?
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) October 6, 2021
• Kane, at 18-years-old, was scoring in an NHL shootout against Dominik Hasek. Me, at 17-years-old, was likely watching the game and eating an entire frozen pizza. Because I could do that without repercussion back then. Not so much now.
• Developments this morning out of Buffalo with the ongoing saga of Jack Eichel vs. the Sabres.
Sources say the Eichel saga may be shifting. Ongoing discussions and additional access to Jack Eichel’s medical file has helped teams with trade interest clearly see his situation. Both sides are hopeful something can be worked out soon with one of the clubs in the mix.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 6, 2021
• The Eichel issue is partly what sparked Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner to go-off on Twitter a few days ago, leading to a meeting with the league. It appears there is some hope that change could come, at least from what Lehner believes.
Just talked to Robin Lehner. He’s confident he can push for change in the NHL. “They’re listening.”
He’s moving his messaging behind the scenes, working w/ the NHL & NHLPA. He also asks for patience from the media as he begins the season & tries to take meaningful steps forward.
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) October 5, 2021
• In case you missed it, here is his full media availability from yesterday. The former Blackhawk talked about the difficulties of having to speak out like he did, but in doing so, what he hopes to change in the league for not just current and future players, but also for players who have since left their playing days behind.
— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) October 5, 2021
• I’ll always appreciate a player like Lehner for speaking his mind. Something we don’t always see in the NHL, almost ever.
• Things with Evander Kane continue to get worse prior to the season. After going through a gambling investigation and on-going allegations of sexual assault, Kane is now being investigated by the league for possibly faking proof of his COVID vaccination.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) October 6, 2021
• How many times can you say ‘Yikes’?
• Some good news for non-Blackhawks fringe NHL players as Alex Galchenyuk, playing with the Coyotes on a PTO, earned himself an NHL deal with Arizona for this season.
Alex Galchenyuk signs 1 year, $750,000 contract with Arizona Coyotes.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 6, 2021
• Much like Galchenyuk, former first-round pick Josh Ho-Sang, who played last season in Sweden. He’s been an AHL standout in his professional career, but hasn’t been able to stick in the NHL for longer than 20 or so games in a season, for one reason or another. After coming to the Maple Leafs on a PTO, Ho-Sang earned a one-year AHL deal with the Marlies.
🖊 News | We’ve signed forward Josh Ho-Sang to a one-year AHL contract. #ForeverStartsHere
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) October 6, 2021
• I’ve always felt Ho-Sang had the talent to play in the NHL, but never got the fair chance to try to stick with the Islanders. Glad to see him with another shot to climb back into the NHL ranks.
• Not one to ever have his NHL standing in doubt, Alex Ovechkin has Wayne Gretzky’s goal-scoring record within reach, so long as he wants to continue playing in the NHL. Needing 165 goals to break the record, Ovechkin’s cohorts talked about his career and his chances of reaching the record once thought to be untouchable.
Can Alex Ovechkin (still) break Wayne Gretzky's NHL goals record?
Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Nathan MacKinnon, Steven Stamkos, Mark Messier, Ovie's 1st linemate and the man himself discuss how Ovechkin got this far … and whether he'll hit 895.https://t.co/1BFODu8iAU
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) October 6, 2021
• The Blackhawks have been entertaining in the preseason with the new guys making impacts, especially Fleury. Now it is the Bulls’ turn with their new collection of talent to make their impact in the city and the NBA. Last night was a great coming out party for their first preseason action.
THE HYPE IS REAL. The Bulls turned their first preseason game into a dunkfest: https://t.co/xj2S7VgrbQ
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) October 6, 2021
• That will do it for today. Hope you all have a great Wednesday!