Rumor Has It, Zegras Strikes Again, Evander Kane in Edmonton, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Rumor Has It, Zegras Strikes Again, Evander Kane in Edmonton, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Today was a funky morning. In Chicago, it’s been a blizzard. In my neck of the woods, northern suburbs, it’s beautiful and sunny and not a flake of snow on the roads.

But sometimes, you miss being in the city during winter.

•   And today’s difference in weather got me thinking about the difference in where this Blackhawks team is right now and where we thought they would have been.

•   We thought the Blackhawks would be playoff contenders, bright and sunny days ahead of Chicago with Marc-André Fleury leading the charge, Jonathan Toews making a glorious return, and Seth Jones having a resurgent season all under the watch of Jeremy Colliton, who could finally show us that he could lead a team in the NHL to sustained success.

•   In reality, the team is under a blanket of street-plowed snow and trying to dig themselves out of a parking spot with a broken shovel, with Kyle Davidson and Derek King playing the role of lawn chairs being used for dibs. It’s not pretty, but it’s the reality in Chicago.

•   With a number of players on trade watch, the rumors have started to connect players to the next destinations. One under-the-radar move, but makes perfect sense that he would be traded, is Calvin de Haan. One destination looking for help on the blue-line is Toronto.

•   De Haan is an Ontario guy and would cost much less in a trade package than other top-end defensive options on the market, which could entice the Maple Leafs to go for more of a tweak move than a splash as the trade deadline approaches.

•   There’s a ton more that the Blackhawks could be looking at as March 21 approaches, but in the immediate, they need to find their permanent GM. According to reports, that search might be completed before Valentine’s Day.

•   Kyle Davidson is the only known candidate right now and will continue to operate as the GM while the search is being done. But as Scott Powers of The Athletic puts it, all signs point to Davidson keeping the job as the most logical move for Chicago.

•   Knowing that the team’s plan is to have the GM position become the all-encompassing overseer of the Hockey Operations department, much like Stan Bowman was doing as the GM and President of Hockey Operations, the doors are open wider to an array of candidates. Without knowing who the Blackhawks may be looking for “outside of the box,” if I were to throw out a shortlist of candidates I would be interviewing, it would include: Davidson, Meghan Hunter, Kevin Weekes, Eddie Olczyk, Cammi Granato, Scott Mellanby, Chris MacFarland, and Meghan Chayka.

•   While Davidson or Hunter would be solid hires from within the organization, the best move for the Blackhawks would be to get fresh eyes on the organization and a clear vision moving forward that is not tied to the past front office. I’ll continue to say it until a GM is hired: I want Kevin Weekes.

•   Awful news this morning for Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews.

•   Toews has a history of concussion issues and is already coming back this season after missing all of last year due to health reasons. Hopefully this isn’t as serious, but you start to wonder what the future might hold for him and his playing career.

•   In other news around the league, Evander Kane is officially with the Edmonton Oilers on a one-year deal thought the end of this season. The franchise has been such a soap opera this year, why not add more drama?

•   Daily Faceoff’s Scott Burnside puts it best when talking about the Oilers’ decision on Kane and the rest of the moves they have made to have the right “character” in their locker room.

•   But hey, as long as the Oilers have this guy, they’ll always have a chance.

•   Not to be outdone last night, Trevor Zegras was at it again with his tricks behind the net…

•   This kid is stupid talented. Remember, Zegras was picked ninth in 2019, six spots after Kirby Dach.

•   Tonight, the New York Rangers will retire Henrik Lundqvist’s No. 30. I’m not sure there has been an NHL goalie with a more storied and successful career without winning a Stanley Cup than Lundqvist. He’s getting a send-off fit for a King this week.

•   Speaking of send-offs, Team USA is headed to Beijing, led by Captain Kendall Coyne-Schofield!

•   The U.S. Women will be looking to defend their 2018 Olympic Gold Medals in just about a week as the Women’s tournament gets underway in China.

•   In the meantime, you can play as the top Women’s players in the world in NHL22 for the first time ever in the EA franchise’s history. In a modern-era where the sport of hockey is looking to grow and diversify (which is desperately needs to do) representation in all forms of the game matter, even virtually.

•   Here’s to hoping the addition of the Women’s top players in the sport is a permanent feature in the NHL series.

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

•   We will see you later tonight for Blackhawks-Avalanche at the United Center at 7:30 p.m. C T.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

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