Adam Gaudette Claimed, Montreal's Front Office Mess, Brendan Bit Me! and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Adam Gaudette Claimed, Montreal’s Front Office Mess, Brendan Bit Me! and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Anyone else sick of their Thanksgiving leftovers yet? Yeah, me neither. But speaking of leftovers, the Blackhawks were able to get one player off of their plate yesterday that was a leftover from the NHL roster.

•   For the Chicago Blackhawks, placing Adam Gaudette on waivers was never really going to end up with him staying in the organization. On a one-year deal for just under $1M this season, Gaudette was a low-risk waiver claim for a team that could use a depth forward that can score on an inconsistent basis. For the Ottawa Senators, the first team able to pick Gaudette in the waiver order, it was an easy decision.

•   Gaudette was supposed to be with the Blackhawks this season and add a scoring touch in the bottom-six forwards group. His health was at the best point it has been his career and he added weight to play a more physical game. Unfortunately, he could find a home in Chicago’s lineup and eventually became a casualty to the rotation of the bottom-six.

•   Another player that looks like he is going to be a casualty of the bottom-six rotation is Dylan Strome. He was scratched on Friday afternoon and only took the place of Jonathan Toews in practice yesterday with Toews on a “maintenance day.” He’ll likely not be in the lineup again today against the San Jose Sharks.

•   Strome seemingly has no place in the lineup. He’s not a bottom-six forward option because he’s not much of a defensive player or a checking forward. He can’t produce much offense on his own accord and would have to play with other skilled players to unlock that potential, but those kinds of players don’t land on the fourth-line. At $3M AAV this season, the final year of his deal with the Blackhawks, trading Strome at this point nearly seems impossible. When Chicago acquired him in 2018 from the Coyotes, he was still a player with untapped potential. Now, I think we’ve seen his ceiling.

•   Speaking of Toews having a “maintenance day” yesterday, the 33-year-old Captain is coming off missing an entire season and has had struggles producing at the rate that he has previously in his career. Zero goals in 20 games to begin the season is a career-long drought, not only to begin a season but overall at any point in his career. After seeing what was supposed to be his first goal of the year wiped off the board on Friday, it was probably a good day to have Toews clear his head, rest, and refocus moving forward.

•   It would be great if his first goal came tonight. The guy needs it. The Blackhawks need it.

•   Offensively, without Toews scoring and producing at the rate we’ve come to expect from him, Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat have been pushing all the right buttons to keep Chicago afloat in most games. As we’ve talked about before, this season has become DeBrincat’s coming out party to the rest of the NHL as a superstar in the league, something Chicago fans already knew he was capable of.

•   DeBrincat has become to Kane what Artemiy Panarin was to him a few years ago. Someone who can keep up with the greatest American-born hockey player in league history.

•   Speaking of Panarin, he was hit with a $5,000 fine for throwing his glove at Brad Marchand on Friday.

•   In case you missed it and because I love watching this clip, here’s the incident one more time.

•   What we didn’t know at the time, was what prompted Panarin to throw his glove at Marchand. Following the game and the levying of the fine, Panarin revealed that Marchand started berating him about his home country of Russia and the support Panarin has shown in the past for opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

•   Are we surprised? Marchand has built his reputation on being a shit-heel in the league. So much is talked about how his off the ice persona and on the ice antics are polar opposites. Can we stop with that narrative? Acting like he does on the ice and saying these types of things to someone like Panarin, who missed part of last season to attend to his family after they received threats in Russia for Panarin’s support of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, is reprehensible. Good thing ESPN had Marchand mic’d so we can know exactly what he said…

•   Oh…typical. I truly hope the audio gets released somehow so we can see, once again, the shit-heel Marchand in action.

•   Adam Boqvist seems to be doing well for himself in Columbus.

•   I’m not sayin that he’d be able to be doing the same kind of point-production in Chicago this season, or that he would be having the same effect that Seth Jones has had for the Blackhawks this year, but he was on his way to reaching the top-tier of his potential before being traded. Good for him with the Blue Jackets.

•   While Chicago isn’t getting goal-scoring from the blue-line, the Rockford IceHogs are having no issues in that department.

•   The IceHogs ended up losing in a shootout last night, 3-2 to the rival Chicago Wolves. Collin Delia made 27/29 saves while Rockford was out-shot 29-19 in the game. They are now 5-8-1 this season.

•   Staying in Chicago’s farm system, 2021 second-round pick Colton Dach tallied his eighth goal of the season for the Kelowna Rockets last night.

•   Then younger Dach is second on his team in goals and tied for third on the Rockets in points with 14 in 16 WHL games this season.

•   With eight players in COVID protocols, the NHL has postponed the next two New York Islanders games through November 30th.

•   The Islanders now join the Ottawa Senators as NHL clubs that have had to have games postponed due to COVID, raising even more concerns around the league regarding the NHL All-Star Break and the league’s participation in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. I suggest checking out this thread from ESPN’s Emily Kaplan in full.

•   Things are not looking great, too, with the new variant discovered in South Africa this week. A reminder to get your COVID vaccine and/or get your booster shot as soon as possible.

•   The Montreal Canadiens front office went through some changes overnight…

•   Assistant General Manager Scott Mellanby stepped down after he was reportedly not considered for the General Manager position with the Canadiens, a position that is still at the time of this writing held by Marc Bergervin. But with Montreal’s lackluster 6-15-2 start to the season after making it to the Stanley Cup Final last summer, the writing is on the wall that Bergervin’s days are numbered.

•   Former New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton is potentially in line for a spot in Montreal, but could the exiting Mellanby be a target for the Blackhawks in their search for a permanent General Manager?

•   Maybe Brendan Lemieux didn’t get enough Thanksgiving leftovers and thought Brady Tkachuk was just a juicy Turkey leg or something?

•   I don’t know the kind of mentality that you have to be in to bite another person. Tkachuk didn’t hold back after the game, talking about the incident and Lemieux, another noted NHL shit-heel.

•   “Babies do that.” Yes, they do.

•   Ending today on a good vibes note, sending all our love from Bleacher Nation Blackhawks to Troy Murray as he continues his battle against cancer.

•   Stay strong, Troy!

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all enjoy your Sunday and we will see you tonight For Blackhawks-Sharks at 6:00 p.m. CT!



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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