Blackhawks' Value, Coyotes Cash Problems, Trouba Did It Again, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Blackhawks’ Value, Coyotes Cash Problems, Trouba Did It Again, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Starting today with some great news in the world of hockey video games.

ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reports that EA Sports’ NHL 22 will be adding Women’s National teams to the game starting in early 2022:

From Wyshynski’s interview with U.S. Gold Medalist and Blackhawks development coach Kendall Coyne Schofield:

“A lot of us grew up without seeing role models on a consistent basis. We’d go to NHL games and never see anyone that looked like us. I’m so excited to see what kind of effect this is going to have on the next generations, seeing women and men in the same game, knowing that they can be either one of us.”

The addition of the Women’s teams is a first for EA’s NHL franchise. It follows in the footsteps of 2K Sport’s NBA franchise, which has included the WNBA for some time. This means U.S. stars like Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne-Schofield will be available to play for the first time in the NHL series. Additionally, EA will also be adding the IIHF World Championships and World Junior Championships with updated team sweaters and branding for the National teams. FINALLY!

(Luis: I haven’t played a hockey video game in a while. And I have a dynasty in NHL 12 that is probably sad I haven’t come back to it. But I kinda wanna dig into NHL ’22 now.)

•   The Blackhawks used to be considered one of the NHL’s marquee franchises. For the better part of a decade, you couldn’t turn on an NBC prime-time game, or watch the Winter Classic, it seemed, without seeing the Blackhawks front and center. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were faces of not only the franchise, but of the NHL. That image was shattered this year with the developments of the sexual assault investigation against the club and former video coach Brad Aldrich and the cover-up of Kyle Beach’s sexual assault story. While morally-corrupt, the Blackhawks continue to be one of the most monetarily valuable organization’s in the NHL, according to Forbes. Chicago ranks fourth with a value of $1.4B, just behind the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and New York Rangers.

•   In the Forbes report, even with the ongoing COVID pandemic, the NHL has seen a 32% increase on average for the value of their 32 franchises:

•   Even the lowest-valued club, the Arizona Coyotes at $400M, saw an increase in value year-over-year. That’s good news for them, since they apparently need the money in a bad way:

•   In a report from The Athletic’s Katie Strang where you can read more, the Coyotes have unpaid bills and taxes dating back to June of 2020 that need to be paid by December 20, or they will be locked out of Gila River Arena.

•   The Coyotes have been in Arizona since the 1996-97 season and have sucked more money out of the NHL than any other franchise since then. According to TSN’s Rick Westhead, the team has lost nearly $141.6M over the last 10 years. But Gary Bettman, who continually advocates that hockey can work in Arizona, would rather lose that money than admit he was wrong and allow the team to relocate. The jokes write themselves:

•   But that’s Bettman’s NHL for you.

•   As is this:

•   Yeah, remember when Jacob Trouba hit Jujhar Khaira in the head on Tuesday night and sent him to the hospital? Then Trouba didn’t face any discipline for the headshot? Well on Wednesday night, nearly 24 hours later, he did the same friggin thing, this time to Nathan MacKinnon. Another headshot, another no-call on the play. The league is lucky that MacKinnon didn’t end up like Khaira. But he still had to leave the game.

•   This hit and whatever ramifications it has on MacKinnon is squarely on the shoulders of the NHL Department of Player Safety. Trouba is on some sort of dangerous hit bender and the league cannot, again, let him walk away from another shoulder/elbow to the head hit. It can’t. (It probably will.)

•   Andrew Shaw, who was no stranger to making these kinds of hits, as well as taking them in his career, sounded off on the league and the NHL DoPS yesterday:

•   Wonder if he’ll face any sort of discipline because he is still, technically, a current NHL player.

•   Speaking of Khaira, yesterday he was released from the hospital and placed in concussion protocol. He is on injured reserve for the Blackhawks now:

•   The New Jersey Devils debited their “Jersey” jerseys last night. You remember, the 99% knockoffs of the 2019 Blackhawks Winter Classic ones. Well, at least goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood had some fun with it:

•   Hey, lean into the silliness and people will eat it up. The Devils won the game too, so 1-0 in the new alternate threads.

•   Also happening on the East Coast last night, All Elite Wrestling had their Wednesday night “Dynamite” show at the UBS Arena, home to the New York Islanders. AEW superstar and Blackhawks super-fan CM Punk let the UBS Arena crowd know who has bragging rights for the most recent game to be played there:

•   The Islanders just snapped their 11-game losing streak on Tuesday night, but after the shootout win for the Blackhawks on Sunday, New York has yet to win in its new home.

•   In the AHL last night, the Rockford IceHogs completed a comeback victory over the Iowa Wild with a shootout win. Collin Delia was pretty elated for the win:

•   As he should have been. Rockford was down 3-1 before coming back to tie the game in the third period, thanks to a lucky bounce off of an Iowa defender, and forced overtime and the shootout. The IceHogs were propelled by strong performances from Delia and Ian Mitchell, who had just recently been re-assigned back to the team:

•   The IceHogs are now 9-8-2 on the season, having earned points in seven of their last 10 games.

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all have a good Thursday and we will see you tonight for Blackhawks-Canadiens 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.