Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The Blackhawks are off tonight, but we’ve got March Madness and White Sox-Cubs Cactus League action to look forward to today. As a Southside Irish kid, St. Patrick’s Day was always an important day growing up. While I live in the suburbs these days, I keep the tradition alive and celebrate the day with my family and children every year, so I’ve got a little extra pep in my step this morning.
• Who remembers the St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at the old Chicago Stadium?
March 17, 1991 | 3️⃣1️⃣ years ago today…
— Vintage Hawks (@VintageHawks) March 17, 2022
• On St. Paddy’s Day 1991, the Blackhawks played host to the hated St. Louis Blues (not much has changed when it comes to the way the two teams and fanbases feel about each other) with both teams battling for the top spot in the old Norris Division. After meeting in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the previous three years, the rivalry had plenty of wind in its sails on this day, and boy did it ever come to a head.
• This game would end up seeing 12 players ejected and three players suspended in the aftermath, with the two teams racking up a whopping 278 penalty minutes with brawls breaking out in the first and second periods. As you saw in the teaser above, one of the most memorable scenes was Dave Manson calling out Scott Stevens to center ice where they slugged it out with Manson getting the best of Stevens, who left the ice with a nice cut around his eye. You can watch more in the video here! The Blackhawks would win the President’s Trophy as the league’s best regular-season team and lose the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Minnesota North Stars.
• So, let’s talk about today; more particularly, let’s talk about Dominik Kubalík. Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Blackhawks are making progress on a trade of Dominik Kubalík, with Anaheim and Edmonton being the frontrunners for the 26-year-old winger’s services. However, last night, Ryan Rishaug of TSN reported that his sense of the situation has the Oilers out on Kubalík and more focused on acquiring some blue line help.
I suppose things can change quickly, but it is my sense that Kubalik is not on the Oilers radar at this moment in a meaningful way. I believe the focus remains on some blue-line help. A depth F is a possibility but not at or near top of the list.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) March 16, 2022
• Having teams bidding against each other would be the only way I can see the Blackhawks getting a mid-rounder back for Kubalík, so Rishaug’s report that Edmonton is out isn’t great news. It’s seemed for a while now that Anaheim is a likely landing spot for Kubalík, but we shall see in the next few days if anything comes to fruition there. It’s worth noting that Ben Pope has double-down on Edmonton’s interest this morning and added Winnipeg as a team that he hears is in the mix in the Kubalík discussions.
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) March 17, 2022
• Kubalík burst onto the scene with the Blackhawks during the 2019-20 season, when he racked up 46 points (30 goals, 16 assists) as a rookie in the COVID-19 shortened season. But now, just two years after the pandemic halted Kubalík’s breakout rookie season, he’s a frequent healthy scratch who is seemingly destined for a new home. Even when he’s in the lineup, ice time has been sparse for the 26-year-old winger who skated just 8:46 in Chicago’s overtime loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.
• Staying on the Blackhawks trade front (because what else is there to talk about these days?), can we interest you in some defenseman? The defenseman market is heating up with just four days to go before the trade deadline, and the Blackhawks have a few blue line players that should be on the block.
With Ben Chiarot off the market, primary focus on D turns to Hampus Lindholm and Mark Giordano. Multiple teams in on both (Leafs, Canes, Blues, Rangers, Bruins). After them, eyes shift to the likes of de Haan, Braun, Leddy & others. There’s also that Chychrun guy for some clubs.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) March 17, 2022
• Calvin de Haan is the prototype that teams look for when searching for blue line help at the deadline. A veteran defender on an expiring contract and still playing at a level that can help a team push for a Stanley Cup is what de Haan could provide one of these teams looking for help. David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period named the Maple Leafs, Hurricanes, Blues, Rangers, and Bruins as teams looking for the services of players like Calvin de Haan.
• Of course, if de Haan isn’t your flavor, I’m sure that Kyle Davidson will be willing to part with pretty much any of their blue-liners not named Connor Murphy if the price is right, so, hey, come on down and do some shopping!
• Hey, a Leper-Hog!
— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) March 17, 2022
• Scott Powers discusses the tough decisions that Kyle Davidson will have to make if he’s genuinely going to rebuild this franchise from the ground up:
The right path forward for the Blackhawks is a rebuild and that will come with some tough and possibly unpopular decisions by general manager Kyle Davidson https://t.co/ZprhocTY8k
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) March 17, 2022
• The Bulls need some good news these days. This is good news!
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) March 16, 2022
• Baseball 👏 is 👏 back 👏!
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 17, 2022
• That’s it for today, enjoy your day and Éirinn go Brách!