Tonight’s Blackhawks-Wild game is starting to feel like a bit of an afterthought. Chicago has lost six of their last seven games, including twice to the Wild not too long ago. Preceding tonight’s game is the organization’s “Town Hall” event, that will shed light on the GM search and the direction of the team moving forward. It’s the first time that both Rocky and Danny Wirtz have taken actual questions since the Kyle Beach and “John Doe 2” sexual assault investigations into the Blackhawks began.
• There’s a lot to discuss and answer for the Blackhawks outside of the current GM search, that’s for certain.
Blackhawks Town Hall Event Much Bigger Than Just The GM Searchhttps://t.co/spLRGkdcDO
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) February 1, 2022
• I don’t know exactly what I’m looking to hear, nor do I know if anything that can be said will make the last few months feel any different. It’s about actions. What actions are being taken by the organization to make the changes the say they want to make. That’s what I’ll be focused on.
• As it pertains to the GM search, we may never know exactly who will be interviewed, but I have some ideas who should be interviewed.
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) February 2, 2022
• While the consensus seems to be that Kyle Davidson will just get his interim tag lifted, I still believe an outside hire should be the way to go if the team truly wants (needs) a fresh perspective on the roster and the future of the club. But then again, making a change a month and a half out from the trade deadline has its draw-backs.
• If you’ve been watching the Blackhawks this season, your eyes will tell you this team is not a playoff contender. But if those same eyes looked at the team on paper in September, you and many others would have thought they were. You would have been right at both points in time.
We had talked to scouts before the season about the Blackhawks. Now with more than half the season over with, @MarkLazerus and I returned to them to get their updated thoughts on the team and specific players. https://t.co/2PblWin5mB
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) February 2, 2022
• One of my favorite things on social media right now is seeing all these people saying things along the lines of, “I knew this team was no good in August!” Oh yeah? You and who else? From what I remember in the summer, there was a large, vocal portion of Blackhawks fans and people outside of the organization that thought this team would be so much better than they have been. Revisionist history is a course we can all get an “A” in. Unless you were cynical about the Blackhawks for the sake of being cynical about the Blackhawks, this team has been a surprising disappointment.
• And Marc Crawford is sick of it…
Marc Crawford unleashed a tirade on the Blackhawks during practice today, fed up with their continued mistakes with forechecking.
New story breaking down exactly what happened today and what those mistakes are: https://t.co/MbQnIhZyDu
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 1, 2022
• You’d think with so many players who play a “checking” role in the lineup, there’d be more efficient forechecking from the forwards group.
• News on the Blackhawks broadcast-end as Eddie Olczyk will be joining NBC’s Olympic Hockey coverage and fill-in play-by-play voice Chris Vosters will be on the Olympic broadcast team as well.
— Jeff Agrest (@jeffreya22) February 2, 2022
• Also, shout out to 670 The Score’s Leila Rahimi who will also be part of the NBC Olympic broadcast team.
• And a shout out to all the women in the sports world today on National Girls and Women in Sports Day! It’s more than a day, honestly, it’s a 24/7 – 365 recognition that the hockey world, and the sports world at-large, whether it’s playing, broadcasting, reporting, front office, coaching, etc, is a space where all women belong.
• News from the IceHogs as Michal Teply, who has been on a hot-streak recently, is now in COVID protocol.
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) February 2, 2022
• In other prospect news, 2020 second-round pick Drew Commesso was named the Hockey East Goalie of the Month for the second month in-a-row!
Drew Commesso is heading to Beijing as the reigning Hockey East Goaltender of the Month! This is the second straight month that Drew has earned this honor! pic.twitter.com/63v6U8hWC0
— BU Men's Hockey (@TerrierHockey) February 2, 2022
• Commesso is off to Beijing with Team USA to play in the Men’s Olympic tournament beginning next week! Hey, count me as excited about this kid.
• The Women’s tournament gets underway tomorrow as Team USA takes on Finland. Here’s a first look at the Women’s team in the new Olympic sweaters for the U.S.
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) February 2, 2022
• This is an incredible story about former MLB and NHL players coming together on Justin Morneau’s insanely professional-style outdoor rink for your casual pickup hockey games in Minnesota.
On Wednesdays, former AL MVP Justin Morneau hosts a pickup hockey game in his backyard with his buddies.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) February 2, 2022
• Tucked away this video is a shot of former Blackhawk big man Dustin Byfuglien, who is looking like he is enjoying his retirement from hockey.
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) February 2, 2022
• “Big Buff” indeed.
• We mentioned a few days ago that the NHL Reverse Retros are reportedly coming back next season. This was a really cool insight to the release of Chicago’s design from last season, coming from Craig Shimala:
This is still one of my favorite creations over the past year. Dropping down a @nhlblackhawks jersey onto a frozen Chicago River. I’m also still surprised no one stopped and questioned what I was doing. I was soooooo nervous. pic.twitter.com/L3bodu5mgM
— Craig Shimala (@cshimala) February 2, 2022
• That’s just awesome.
• An update on the MLB lockout…
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today, which means six more weeks of lockout. pic.twitter.com/QA2Zy2lQJS
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) February 2, 2022
• Also, if you missed this story in the NFL yesterday, all I can say is that this feels like the ultimate, “I got the receipts” moment…
Former Miami Head Coach Brian Flores is Suing the NFL and the Giants After Receiving Accidental Bill Belichick Texts https://t.co/zwqDeG5qGF
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) February 1, 2022
• Good for Flores. I hope he ends up as the owner of Giants after this.
• That will do it for today. We will see you tonight for the Town Hall and for Blackhawks-Wild at 8:30 p.m. CT (seriously?)