Strome's First NHL Hat Trick, the GM Search Begins, de Haan Online, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Strome’s First NHL Hat Trick, the GM Search Begins, de Haan Online, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Last night’s ridiculous 8-5 win for the Blackhawks over their rival Detroit Red Wings was fun to watch. At times, it was stressful, and at other times, defensively, it was terrible, but scoring eight goals against Detroit is never bad. Dylan Strome was the highlight of the night, netting a four-point game and his first career NHL hat-trick. His trade value is heading upwards, but there’s still that little part of me that thinks, maybe he’s more valuable to the team’s future?

•   Good to see Patrick Kane still has the confidence to throw a backhand spin-pass.

•   Strome’s first career NHL hat-trick didn’t come easy, with two of his three goals coming as a net-front player. His third goal was incredibly impressive once you watch the replay and see that there was little chance he actually saw where the puck was going and still got his stick on it.

•   Maybe there was something in the water in Detroit last night?

•   Maybe it was just Gatorade…

•   Whatever it was, keep giving it to Strome, since it’s been working for him recently.

•   Over his last 16 games since December 5, Strome has 13 points and is third on the team in points over that stretch of time behind Patrick Kane (17) and Alex DeBrincat (18). He’s also first on the team in faceoff-percentage since January 1 at 63.3, ahead of Jonathan Toews’ 56.3-marker. Strome is second in the NHL since January 1 among players to take at least 100 faceoffs, only trailing Toronto’s John Tavares with a 65.4 win-rate.

•   His trade value is going up at the right time. Maybe Strome can fetch more than just a mid-round pick as a rental. But also, at 24, maybe he’s still worth keeping around?

•   You know, we harped on Jeremy Colliton and we’ve harped on Derek King about playing Dylan Strome and playing him in the right way. He’s not a fourth-line, defensive center. He has to be paired with guys who can move the puck and move their feet and have skills with the puck on their stick. Having him play with Patrick Kane and Brandon Hagel has unleashed this side of Strome that has been missing since his first season in Chicago.

•   Also with a big night last night was Strome’s former teammate with the Erie Otters, Alex DeBrincat. Netting a two-goal night, DeBrincat joined so major Blackhawks legends as he continues up the goal-scoring charts.

•   There’s talks of trading or not trading DeBrincat, but c’mon, there’s no way they do that.

•   Calvin de Haan had a rough play last night, throwing a blind spin-pass to the middle of the ice, right to Robby Fabbri that led to the Red Wings’ first goal of the game. People had words to say about de Haan on social media after the play and he found them after the game…

•   Be careful what you say online, these guys can find it.

•   Major news prior to puck drop last night as the Blackhawks and CEO Danny Wirtz released a statement about the front office search and the timeline of finding a permanent GM.

•    Current interim GM Kyle Davidson will be an interview candidate and will run the team in the same capacity he has been while the GM search continues. The Blackhawks say that the new GM will be in place before the March 21 NHL Trade Deadline. My question is: if you are not going to hire Davidson to be the permanent GM, why allow him to run the team and potentially make trades BEFORE the trade deadline, if a new person is going to come in and navigate a VERY important trade deadline for Chicago?

•   One of the biggest moves or non-moves Davidson, or whoever is going to be the GM, makes concerns goaltender Marc-André Fleury. Keeping Fleury makes little-to-no sense for Chicago since they are likely not going to be contending for a playoff spot and Fleury is likely out the door on April 30. The were rumors that Fleury could be headed to the Washington Capitals, but then Elliotte Friedman, who made the first connection between the two sides, backtracked his own statement…

•   So who knows where, or if, Fleury will be going by or before March 21. But as the biggest trade piece on the roster, the new GM will have to figure out what to do quickly.

•   Speaking of goaltenders, the Blackhawks are shuffling their backups today.

•   Good for Collin.

•   The Bears fired Ryan and Matt, so that they could hire another Ryan and Matt…

•   Ok, cool. Now what is the plan to make Justin Fields successful?

•   The NHL needs to admit that the Arizona Coyotes are  a failed franchise.

•   Like, is this a joke?

•   Scary hit last night in the Bruins-Avalanche game between Taylor Hall and Nathan MacKinnon. MacKinnon would have to leave the game and was busted-up when leaving the ice. He didn’t return to the game last night and appears questionable to be ready for tomorrow’s game against the Blackhawks in Chicago.

•   It’s a borderline hit by Hall, but made worse by MacKinnon’s stick hitting him in the face inadvertently.

•   Great moment last night on the TNT broadcast. Following his team’s 4-0 stinker in the first period, Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman had to do the intermission interview. It was great because he was visibly annoyed, but loosened up throughout the interview as the more relaxed broadcast style of TNT started to work on him. Leading to Paul Bissonnette getting Yzerman nearly caught-up on National TV…

•   “Hey, I was scholastic player of the year!” 😂

•   Last year the NHL introduced the “Reverse Retro” sweaters for all 31 NHL clubs. It appears those will be coming back with new designs next season.

•   I hope Chicago’s design is good. Last year’s was, meh, OK.

•   Big day today for NHL gamers as the IIHF Women’s team go live in less than an hour as I write this!

•   Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne-Schofield are the highest-rated U.S. Women’s team members, while Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin is the highest-rated in the game.

•   Can’t wait to play today!

•   That will do it for today, hope you all enjoy your Thursday!



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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