Happy Friyay and happy Blackhawks Gameday! Following their disappointing performance in the season opener on Wednesday night, the Blackhawks are back in action tonight as they take on the Devils in New Jersey (a much different opponent for Chicago than the Stanley Cup contending Avalanche). While they prepare for their upcoming game, the Blackhawks are also being active away from the ice.
• For example … After reports surfaced that the Blackhawks were listening to interest on Dylan Strome, new reports came out yesterday that the club is also looking to trade Andrew Shaw’s contract.
Report: Blackhawks Trying to Trade Andrew Shaw’s Contracthttps://t.co/k0HG0A7J0s
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) October 14, 2021
• Shaw currently sits on LTIR for the Blackhawks, is retired, and is working with the team in a broadcasting role. But, moving Shaw would get the Blackhawks completely out of LTIR use, once Caleb Jones returns to health. They would also be under the salary cap and have more flexibility as the season progressed, making them more likely to be able to add at the trade deadline, if they were in contention for the postseason.
• While worrying about contending for the postseason seems a bit far-fetched after their opening night performance, the Blackhawks still had some positives to take out of the first game of the season. Mainly, the play of Kirby Dach. Returning to full-health for this season, Dach is hoping to have the breakout season this year that he was supposed to have last year before breaking his wrist and missing two-thirds of the year.
Kirby Dach is fully healthy again and back on track to be a star center. It’s time for the Blackhawks to give him even more opportunity and put him on the top line. My column: https://t.co/N8h63UR7L1
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) October 15, 2021
• Will he turn into the No. 1 centerman the Blackhawks hope he will? The remains to be seen. But if he continues to put in performances like he did on Wednesday night, and improve upon them, he’s going to be a force to be dealt with on this Blackhawks roster. A force that not even a cheap shot from Gabriel Landeskog can stop.
Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog has been suspended for two games for Boarding Chicago’s Kirby Dach. https://t.co/glWKL7DAgq
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 14, 2021
• Two-game suspension for Landeskog after his dangerous hit on Dach on Wednesday night. Two games earned. Dach, on the other hand, will be fine and is slated to play tonight.
• One thing that will not be returning to the ice for the Blackhawks this season will be the Blackhawks’ “Ice Girls” ice crew. It appears they will also no longer work other team promotions and events.
A source tells me the #Blackhawks Ice Crew is no more. The employees in the tunnel will still be on site to clean the ice, but the women in the uniforms on ice, roadwatches, etc. are no more. The team introduced the Ice Crew in 2003. pic.twitter.com/DJtecH7J8J
— Jay Zawaski (@JayZawaski670) October 14, 2021
• As observed by our BN Bears writer Luis during his preseason trip to the United Center, the ice crew as it used to be was not present. It was time. The Blackhawks have enough problems away from the actual hockey being played on the ice. Continuing to have less-than-adequately dressed women cleaning the ice in the year 2021 was no longer “the look” it was once perceived to be. Hockey (and sports in general) continue to grow, change and mature to a point where a woman’s place in sports is no longer on the sidelines or as just cheerleaders or “ice girls.” It’s on the ice playing the game, it’s behind the desk of studio shows, it’s between the glass at ice level, it’s behind the microphone on broadcasts, it’s in the locker room asking the difficult questions, and everywhere in-between.
• The Rockford IceHogs begin their 2021-22 season in the AHL today with their first game on the road against the Grand Rapids Griffins. They have released their opening night roster as well.
The 2021-22 season starts TONIGHT in Grand Rapids and we have announced our 31-player #OpeningNight roster!
— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) October 15, 2021
• After the Taxi Squad took many of the key figures to the IceHogs away from the club last season, this year’s Rockford team should be tough to deal with in the AHL with a number of players that Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton says could/should be with the Blackhawks in the NHL, but for whatever reasons they have been put in the AHL. His point being, Chicago has so much depth that their AHL squad has legit NHL players on it. They do. Hopefully it translates to AHL success.
• According to a recent poll, the Blackhawks are the team NHL fans are “most interested in” this season.
Top 5 teams that American NHL fans are most interested in, per recent @MorningConsult polling.
— Mark J. Burns (@markjburns88) October 14, 2021
• Not only are the Blackhawks one of the most interesting teams this season, they have also been named one of the most valuable in the NHL by Sportico, valued at $1.36B. Billion with a ‘B.’
— Sportico (@Sportico) October 14, 2021
• From one B-b-b-billion dollar franchise in Chicago to another, the Cubs have named Carter Hawkins as the new General Manager of the team.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 15, 2021
• Welcome to Chicago!
• Speaking of welcomes, after signing his new deal with the Ottawa Senators yesterday prior to the season-opening game, Brady Tkachuk was welcomed warmly back by the fans after a contentious offseason.
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) October 14, 2021
• Oh, and the Sens beat the Maple Leafs. So plan the parade route accordingly.
• Last night, the Columbus Blue Jackets took to the ice for the first time this season and honored former goalie Matiss Kivlenieks prior to the game. They hung his No. 80 in the rafters and will have it painted on the ice all season.
For Matiss. 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/8VWLwUEVpL
— NHL (@NHL) October 14, 2021
• Showing up for the Blue Jackets last night was Patrik Laine, looking like the evil version of Doc Brown from a rejected “Back to the Future” storyline…
I am losing my mind pic.twitter.com/zeWsDLFuld
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) October 14, 2021
• The hairline for the 2016 NHL Draft class is not having a good time, eh? Laine and Auston Matthews, 23 and 24, could pass for guys in their mid-30’s. But hey, I’d trade my hairline to make the kinds of money they do.
• The Red Wings and Lightning game last night was supposed to look like what the Avalanche and Blackhawks game did on Wednesday. That was not the case as the Red Wings held multiple leads and the Lightning were the ones trying to fight back. Ultimately, the Lightning came out on top in overtime, 7-6(!). But it did have something in common with Wednesday’s Blackhawks game as there was a play that earned a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 15, 2021
• Dylan Larkin swinging on Mathieu Joseph was not something I thought I’d see this season, but here we are.
Detroit’s Dylan Larkin will have a hearing today for Roughing Tampa Bay’s Mathieu Joseph.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 15, 2021
• Larkin, the Captain of the Red Wings, will likely miss a game or two for that one.
• Speaking of Captains, well former Captains, Emily Kaplan has the latest on Jack Eichel’s status with the Sabres.
From today's episode of The Point, here's the latest on Eichel… https://t.co/A3LQkzQYSt
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) October 14, 2021
• Reportedly, at least five teams are in on potentially trading for Eichel and allowing him to have the disc-replacement surgery he wants, that the Sabres medical team has not allowed him to get. We’ll see how this plays out and NO, I don’t think the Blackhawks are one of the five teams.
• With the trainwreck that has become the Buffalo Sabres, fans are making their displeasure known by not showing up for the organization. It’s tough on the players, since it’s not entirely their fault the management of the club has been abysmal for years.
As written a couple of weeks ago (https://t.co/TXUBOBOiKn), it’s going to be an ugly, ugly season in the Sabres’ stands. Nearly 10,000 season-ticket holders have dropped out, which will cost the Pegulas tens of millions of dollars.
But the people who showed up are into it! pic.twitter.com/kB8IULYmBI
— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) October 14, 2021
• But hey, don’t let the lack of fans in the stands stop you from having some fun, right? The Sabres have chosen their own goal songs this season – a move I wish more clubs did!
The boys are choosing their own goal songs this season! #LetsGoBuffalo
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 14, 2021
• Who’s got the best on this list? My pick is obviously Will Butcher.
• Speaking of having fun, the Seattle Kraken celebrated their franchise’s first win last night, topping the Nashville Predators 4-3.
— ROOT SPORTS™ | NW (@ROOTSPORTS_NW) October 15, 2021
• With that, the Predators have another banner to raise.
nothing like southern hospitality
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) October 15, 2021
• “Gave” lol.
• News this morning from Boston, the Bruins have locked-up defenseman Charlie McAvoy to an eight-year extension.
The deal is done.@CMcAvoy44 is a Boston Bruin for eight more years!
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 15, 2021
• He’ll be playing with Seth Jones and Patrick Kane with Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics for sure. Which, by the way, the nations playing in the Men’s tournament have to submit their “long lists” of NHL players being considered for representation at the upcoming Beijing Winter Games. Reportedly, lists can have a max of 55 players on them. Keep an eye out for that today.
• Tonight, the best in the world will help get you ready for Blackhawks and Devils!
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) October 15, 2021
• That will do it for today. Hope you all have a great TGIF Friday! We’ll see you tonight at 6:00 p.m. CT for Blackhawks and Devils!