World Juniors Canceled (For Now), Fleury Among Top Sweaters Sales, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

It’s has not been a great month for hockey. With the COVID outbreak in the NHL postponing so many games and the IIHF making the decision to cancel the World Junior Championships juts days after starting it, there has been little room for great news recently.

•   Following there forfeited games and handful of positive COVID cases, the IIHF pulled the plug on the tournament yesterday.

•   The news came as a surprise to some. For all those involved, coaches, players, staff and everyone that puts together the broadcasts and production of the games, it’s a missed opportunity that sometimes only comes once in their lives.

•   While the tournament being canceled is a major disappointment, it’s not off the table that the IIHF can reschedule it for a later date in 2022.

•.  That should also apply to the other tournaments in January that the IIHF decided to cancel earlier this month, including the U18 Women’s World Championships.

•   With the NHL pulling players from the Olympics, and the IIHF having to cancel (or hopefully reschedule) multiple tournaments, we might see a movement in hockey to have major international tournaments move to the summers, COVID or not.

•   Team USA, which housed three Blackhawks prospects, only got to play one game. They won, and all three of Chicago’s prospects helped in the win. They’ll look to defend their 2021 Gold Medal properly, hopefully, later in 2022.

•   The environment that led to the potential for a COVID outbreak was highly scrutinized once it became public that the “bubbles” in Red Deer and Edmonton, were anything but that.

•   Could you imagine thinking that you were playing in the biggest tournament of your young life, supposedly isolated from the rest of the world, and then a wedding party is in the lobby of your hotel? I’d be a bit upset, too.

•   Again, this wasn’t going to go away after just a few tests. Not to be forgotten in all this, is that now these players, coaches, staff, and even media members, are stuck in Red Deer or Edmonton for the next ten days, in accordance with Canadian COVID protocols.

•   Back in the NHL, the results are in for the highest-selling sweaters of the 2021 calendar year. Even though he’s only been a member of the Blackhawks for about five months, Marc-André Fleury’s Blackhawks sweater was the third-highest seller of the year.

•   Not too shabby with Patrick Kane coming in tenth.

•   Major news for the Blackhawks community as Alex DeBrincat and his wife Lyndsey announced that they are expecting their first baby in May!

•   DeBrinBaby? Baby Cat? DeBrinKitten? This kid is going to have to be nicknamed something, we’ll figure it out.

•   Speaking of DeBrincat, he’s going to be featured prominently in Scott Power’s list of the top goals from the 2021 year for the Blackhawks…

•   You know who you won’t find on that list? Artemiy Panarin.

•   He did that against Aaron Ekblad and his buddy Sergei Bobrovsky…ice cold.

•   I’ll say, it’s refreshing seeing NHL games be scheduled and actually happening again.

•   The Blackhawks next play on January 1, 2022, as it is scheduled. The Rockford IceHogs on the other hand are not going to be in action before that with three more players added to their COVID list yesterday.

•   The AHL is no different than the NHL right now, dealing with COVID cases and postponed games. The league doesn’t have the luxury of the Olympic break in the schedule to reschedule postponed games, so it appears they may extend the season schedule.

•   After having their game tomorrow postponed, the IceHogs had their New Year’s Day game agains the Chicago Wolves postponed today.

•   Game continue in the ECHL and they are doing all they can to enjoy them.

•   That’s a lot of enjoyment.

•   Don’t miss this great write-up about one of the newest scouts for the Blackhawks, Canadian Olympian Brigette Lacquette.

•   The Blackhawks are working to change A LOT about the organization from over the past decade. Hiring Lacquette as a scout is one of the many moves made since Danny Wirtz took his position as Blackhawks CEO to implement change in the organization. It’s moving forward in a better direction, but there’s still a long way to go for the Blackhawks to earn back the good graces they once had with the hockey community.

•   Ending today with some good coming out of the truly heartbreaking story of Jeff Dickerson’s passing. The GoFundMe page for his son, Parker, was loaded with donations from across the sports world yesterday, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter pushing it on social media hard.

•   All of the major Chicago teams donated to Parker’s fund, with many other across the NFL landscape chipping in as well. As Lu said, it’s refreshing to see something like this come out of something so terrible.

•   That will do it for today. Hope you enjoy your Thursday!

written by

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

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