Busy morning for the NHL and the Blackhawks this Thursday. Not to mention it is also a preseason gameday for Chicago and an important one of a number of bubble players hoping to stay with the club through the next round of cuts as the regular season approaches.
• News this morning for the Blackhawks and Team USA Men’s Hockey program heading to the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Auston Matthews, Patrick Kane, and Seth Jones Named to Team USA 2022 Winter Olympic Rosterhttps://t.co/XIBqMAQUf5
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) October 7, 2021
• Patrick Kane and Tom Selleck look-a-like Auston Matthews making the team right away comes as no surprise. But the selection of Seth Jones is a head-scratcher. That is until you remember that Blackhawks General Manager and President of Hockey Operations Stan Bowman is serving as Team USA’s GM. He likes his new toy so much he gave him a guaranteed roster spot in the freaking Olympics. Not to add pressure on Jones, but if he doesn’t turn his play around right away this season, the ridicule is going to be hefty against him and Bowman. I mean, even more so for Bowman than it already is.
• With Bowman at the helm of Team USA, it’ll be no surprise to see Alex DeBrincat also named to the U.S. roster and maybe even seen Kane named Captain. If his bias is already showing, why stop there, right? For Kane, coming into this season is a lot like last season, but at the same time it is not like last season. To him, people are still doubting the Blackhawks like they did last season, but this is a much different team than last season. Either way, he is out to prove the doubters wrong.
Patrick Kane is Once Again Out to Prove Everyone Wrong https://t.co/PrblK0E0kX
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) October 6, 2021
• File that under things you love to see.
• For more on how the Blackhawks will get their roster together as the regular season approaches, we turn to Scott Powers of The Athletic, breaking down Chicago’s salary cap situation as well as roster moves to expect:
From how the Blackhawks will probably use Andrew Shaw’s LTIR to why Alex Nylander will likely end up on waivers to the significance of Wyatt Kalynuk’s injury, I explore the Blackhawks’ cap situation entering the season. https://t.co/LygUsYnyuR
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) October 7, 2021
• I’ll talk about this later today, but with the recent roster cuts and the injury to Wyatt Kalynuk, the shape of the possible opening night roster is starting to come together, but is still at the same time cloudy. The final two preseason games against the Minnesota Wild should give us the final look at players on the NHL roster bubble and who will burst or ride it to an opening night roster spot.
• One of those bubble players has been Adam Gaudette. After starting the preseason with a strong performance against the Red Wings, Gaudette hasn’t replicated that performance again. But, his work this preseason has made an impression on head coach Jeremy Colliton and Gaudette is likely headed to an NHL roster spot. For his health, which hasn’t been 100% unbeknownst to him for a long time, he says he feels his best ever heading into 2021-22.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) October 6, 2021
• While he’s working to secure and NHL roster sport with the Blackhawks, Gaudette found himself a new friend.
Everyone meet my new buddy! His name is Steve Rogers!! pic.twitter.com/BdEOV9davR
— Adam Gaudette (@Hockey_Gaud) October 6, 2021
• Looks like Steve is fitting into the family already.
— Micaela (@micaelakimchi) October 6, 2021
• Good for Steve.
• Last night, the Chicago Sky had the chance to secure a spot in the WNBA Finals and the Blackhawks were showing their support for their fellow Chicago athletes.
• Even Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton was showing his support and shouting out the Sky and fellow Chicago head coach James Wade.
The @chicagosky can advance to the WNBA Finals with a win tonight, and Jeremy Colliton wore a Sky jersey under his Blackhawks jacket throughout practice.
“I just want to say good luck to Coach Wade.” pic.twitter.com/tDPPmELjZN
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) October 6, 2021
• The show of support from the Blackhawks and other teams around the city was reciprocated by the Sky and star forward Candace Parker!
• It seems to have worked as the Sky topped the Sun to advance to the WNBA Finals for the first time since 2014!
• File this too under things you love to see!
• From good news in the WNBA to bad news in the NBA as 18 former players have been arrested for reportedly defrauding the league’s benefit plan, including former Bull Eddie Robinson.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) October 7, 2021
• In Rockford IceHogs news, the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate open their preseason schedule tonight as they take on the Iowa Wild. You can find the game and broadcast information here:
• After the roster moves made yesterday, the IceHogs will be able to field a full team for tonight’s contest after opening AHL training camp with just 13 players. Expect rookie Lukas Reichel to be in the Rockford lineup tonight.
• News this morning coming from the Montreal Canadiens as goaltender Carey Price will not be with the team for the beginning of the season as he has voluntarily joined the NHLPA’s Player Assistance program.
Carey Price Joins NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program, Will Be Away From Canadiens https://t.co/nTnIaUsavB
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) October 7, 2021
• Price, who had offseason knee surgery, has also been dealing with a non-COVID illness as well this offseason according to Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme and he not been “doing well” with it. Montreal General Manager Marc Bergervin addressed the media on Thursday morning following the news.
Difficult to watch. Marc Bergevin emotional when asked about what Price means to him: “It’s hard.”
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) October 7, 2021
• Price and Canadiens teammate Jonathan Drouin have been two of the most recent players in the league to be open and seek help for their off-ice physical and mental health issues. That is something we usually would not see from NHL players in the past and has been changing in the NHL-culture in recent years.
Also adds "guys are more willing" to get help when needed. "Now it's more in the open" than in past years.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) October 7, 2021
• Here’s to hoping Price is able to get the help he needs and that he and his family can be well soon.
• From one future Hall of Fame goaltender to another, recently retired Henrik Lundqvist spoke with Dan Rosen about his decision to retire, his health, and what is next for him. Highly recommend checking out the full interview.
“I realized the best decision right now is to walk away from it. And I’m at peace with that.” https://t.co/X4KJys7GME
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) October 7, 2021
• Rounding out the goalie news of the day, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced yesterday their plans to honor Matiss Kivlenieks this season.
#CBJ announce opening-night (Oct. 14 vs Arizona) plans to honor goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks , who died July 4 in a fireworks mishap in Michigan.
Kivlenieks family will travel from Latvia to take part in ceremonial puck drop.
And there’s more … pic.twitter.com/6ZPAkDVb5F
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) October 6, 2021
• A great touch from the Blue Jackets to honor Kivlenieks and his family.
• Leaving you with a Blackhawks prospect highlight from last night as 2021 draft pick Jalen Luypen played beat the clock and won in his second WHL game of the season.
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) October 7, 2021
• Look out for Luypen to potentially be a steal from the 2021 Blackhawks draft class.
• That will do it for today. Hope you all have a great Thursday ahead of you!