Gary Bettman Speaks, DeBrincat Gets a "Hangover," Trevor Zegras: NHL All-Star, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Gary Bettman Speaks, DeBrincat Gets a “Hangover,” Trevor Zegras: NHL All-Star, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

I’m tired, folks. I’m tired of this team and everything that surrounds it.

•   Yesterday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman met with the NHL media ahead of the All-Star skills competitions. It was there that he said Rocky Wirtz and the Blackhawks would not face any discipline for his outbursts towards Mark Lazerus and Phil Thompson regarding the fallout of the Kyle Beach investigation and settlements on Wednesday night.

•   While we all likely feel like Rocky Wirtz should face some repercussions for his actions, given the context of the subject matter, did you actually think the league would do anything? The real answer is no.

•   We’ve all been frustrated and emotional, yes. But many times over, those moments are usually unexpected. There is no way Rocky Wirtz was not prepped prior to Wednesday night, that he and Danny Wirtz and Jaime Faulkner would face a question or multiple questions regarding what happened with Kyle Beach and/or “John Doe 2.”

•   Rocky’s response shows to me, that yes, he is frustrated. He is frustrated that he has to deal with a problem that he threw money at and thinks should be over and done with now. That’s not how these things work. The actions of the Owner and Chairman of the Blackhawks shows me that what happened to Kyle Beach would have never come out or had anything done about it, had word gotten to Rocky Wirtz in 2010. The reason he didn’t know about it at the time and only learned of it in the court filings is because the culture of the Blackhawks front office found Kyle Beach to be a burden and they were not going to bring that burden to Rocky Wirtz, because likely, he would have had the same reaction then as he did on Wednesday night.

•   Wirtz will not face discipline from the league. Fine. Face it from the fans. Face it from the public. Face it with dwindling season-ticket sales. Face it from empty seats at the United Center. Face it from sponsorship money lost. Money talks, and that’s the language Rocky speaks.

•   Other news from Bettman and Bill Daly’s media availability, the Bruins will host the next Winter Classic at Fenway park. The Hurricanes will host an outdoor game. The 2023 All-Star weekend will be in South Florida next year.

•   Bettman also had a lot of things to say regarding how the Canadian government’s COVID protocols are hurting the Canadian teams and the league. He spoke about the 2022 NHL Draft being held in Montreal…for now.

•   But even with dealing with COVID, still, the NHL is expecting revenues to go over $5 Billion.

•   On his beloved Arizona Coyotes…

•   With his words about Canada and Arizona, there’s a less than zero chance that Quebec will see a team coming there via relocation. Bettman will continue to set money on fire in Arizona.

•   It was the NHL All-Star skills competition night last night. Alex DeBrincat was part of the festivities and participated in the Breakaway Challenge.

https://twitter.com/NHLBlackhawks/status/1489757948813484043?s=20&t=_p7PWIMyRL_WB4w0cCHrlw

•   He chose the song “Who let the dogs out” and we all thought the DeBrindogs were coming to the ice. We were mistaken. Rather, DeBrincat went with ” The Hangover” angle in Vegas.

•   He also went with the local angle, bringing in Derek Carr and Hunter Renfrow from the Raiders with Carr providing the assist.

https://twitter.com/NHL/status/1489815476423254017?s=20&t=STtRJJ8Pgodvtf99hLpqOw

•   It was a great show and yet, DeBrincat was sabotaged by a Blues fan…

•   Booooo!

•   Although he did not win the competition, Trevor Zegras stole the show last night. It was the reason he was made a special guest at the All-Star weekend and he did not disappoint…

•   Seriously, this is NUTS!

•   But the homers have the final say in the voting process.

•   Zegras is a star in this league and he’s the future of the American hockey landscape. I love it.

•   Another show-stealing moment came from Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson in the Fountain Face-Off competition as she beat a number of NHL players.

•   Here’s a rundown of the winners from last night…

•   The winner of the Breakaway Challenge was contested. Rightfully so!

•   Back to Blackhawks news that isn’t about Rocky Wirtz, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Scott Mellanby will be interviewing for the GM position today. Dreger also says that Peter Chiarelli will interview tomorrow.

•   The team also confirmed that Hurricanes assistant GM Eric Tulsky has already interviewed for the GM position.

•   Along with the interview with Tulsky, the team confirmed that interim GM Kyle Davidson had his interview to hold his current position.

•   I appreciate the team coming forward and telling us who they are interviewing.

•   Prospect Landon Slaggert doing his best Bobby Orr impression last night for Notre Dame in their win over Penn State!

•   In other prospect news last night, the IceHogs got a 4-2 win over the Iowa Wild to improve to 17-15-4. You can find the highlights from last night here:

•   Rockford and Iowa play again tonight, this time at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.

•   Very cool moment last night for Tyler Johnson with the Spokane Chiefs as his No. 9 was retired by his former Junior team.

•   Pretty awesome. Johnson should be coming back to the Blackhawks next month after having neck surgery in December.

•   News from Russia today, the KHL is stopping their season short due to COVID issues…

•   Will we see a KHL Bubble postseason? It appears possible.

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

•   Don’t forget, this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. CT, the NHL All-Star 3v3 Tournament can be seen on ABC and ESPN+, Alex DeBrincat and the Central Division All-Stars look for the first 3v3 All-Star tournament championship for the Division. The Pacific Division (3) and the Metropolitan Division (2) have split the last five All-Star tournaments.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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