Mid-Season Review, Rumors Brewin', Subban-Panetta Incident, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Mid-Season Review, Rumors Brewin’, Subban-Panetta Incident, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Over the past few days, the buzz in the hockey world has surrounded racism in the game, sparked by the incident in the ECHL over the weekend between Jordan Subban, brother of P.K. and Malcolm, and Jacob Panetta, cousin of Andrew Shaw. The incident, which we covered in yesterday’s bullets, was a racially-targeted gesture by Panetta towards Subban that started a near-benches clearing brawl between the Jacksonville Icemen and the South Carolina Stingrays. The gesture and fight, caught on video, was shared by Jordan’s brother, New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban and has brought to the attention of the hockey world, again, the racism problems that are deeply disturbing and happen all too often in the sport.

•   P.K. Subban spoke at-length last night about the incident and where the sport needs to go from here.

•   Devils head coach Lindy Ruff also spoke on the matter yesterday.

•   What we also got yesterday was Panetta’s side of the story and an apology video.

•   And today, former Blackhawk Andrew Shaw came to the defense of his cousin, supporting his claim that the gesture was not racially-charged.

•   If you’ve seen the video, you’ve seen the gesture. It’s borderline at best. But that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. If Jordan Subban, in that moment on the ice, felt that what Panetta was doing was targeted at him because he is Black, that’s it. There’s a 100% chance that Jordan Subban has experienced previously racially-charged taunts and actions against him in his hockey career, and some probably looked and sounded exactly like what Panetta did. It’s the problem in that moment and in the greater world of hockey.

•   I’ll point you to this great work from Ryan Clark of The Athletic…

•   Racism has no place in the game or in society. Right now, the #HockeyIsForEveryone is a farce that the NHL wants you to believe, but the world of hockey continues to show you is not true. As former Blackhawks player Akim Aliu puts it, there’s still so much work to be done before hockey is truly for everyone, so the hashtag needs a change…

•   Aliu, by the way, still waiting on closure from the NHL on its investigation into the racial incidents he experienced while with the organization.

•   Anyway, support diversity and inclusion in the game. It’s as simple as that.

•   In Blackhawks news, it’s the mid-way point of the season with 41 games down and 41 to go. How are we only at the mid-way point? Yesterday, we reviewed my preseason predictions for this team and it was not a pleasant trip down memory lane.

•   I actually thought Toews and Dach were going to put up 60-point seasons.

•   In jury news, the Blackhawks will be without Kevin Lankinen for some time after suffering a hand injury in his latest start on Saturday.

•   Rookie Arvid Söderblom rejoins the Blackhawks in-place of Lankinen.

•   Soon, another rookie could be rejoining the Blackhawks as a report from Scott Powers says Chicago could think twice about not burning the first year of Lukas Reichel’s rookie contract.

•   There’s good and bad on both ends of the spectrum. It would be good to get Reichel into the NHL now, where he seemingly belongs, but it would then burn that first year of his deal. It would be good to get that first year of his deal over with to get to his second contract faster, but it could end up meaning the Blackhawks’ summer of 2024 could get very, very complicated.

•   Unfortunately, due to COVID concerns, the Blackhawks have postponed Brent Seabrook’s legacy night.

•   In rumor news, could the Blackhawks be going back to the European free agent market?

•   Andrei Kuzmenko is second in the KHL in scoring this season and was named to Russia’s 2022 Winter Olympics roster as a reserve player. Oh yeah, the Olympic rosters will allow reserve players.

•   We should find out who will be with Team Canada tomorrow morning…

•   Potentially on that list will be the top draft prospect in the 2022 NHL Draft class: Shane Wright. He has 35 points in 28 games, including an UNREAL goal last night to continue his current four-game point-streak.

•   H-HOW?

•   Tonight will be a historic night in the NHL as Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle will be playing in his 964th-consecutive game, matching the all-time NHL record set by Doug Jarvis 35 years ago.

•   Speaking of records, last night’s Bills-Chiefs game was bonkers.

•   More on that in today’s Bears Bullets…

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

•   We will see you tonight for Blackhawks-Avalanche at 8:00 p.m. CT.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

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