The Blackhawks haven’t made any movement on the trade front, but they’re still welcoming in a new face this week with a rookie set to make his NHL debut this weekend.
• Rookie defenseman Alex Vlasic was told to report to Fifth Third Arena at 9 a.m. on Thursday for his first day with the Chicago Blackhawks. Vlasic showed up at 8:15 (Luis: Early bird gets the worm!) to take in what he later called “a whirlwind” day:
“Little bit of a whirlwind. I came in, didn’t really know what to do with myself, to be honest.”— Phillip Thompson (@_phil_thompson) March 17, 2022
—new Blackhawks D Alex Vlasic on arriving for his first practice pic.twitter.com/avZTZ0ueO8
• Vlasic is just six days removed from his final collegiate game at Boston University, a loss to UConn that ended their season. When asked why the 20-year-old Wilmette native decided to make the jump to the pro level after his junior season at BC, Vlasic said that he is simply ready for the next challenge:
“I was just ready for the next challenge to play against bigger players, stronger players, faster, smarter.”—Alex Vlasic on making the jump from college to the Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/1W05FUxvwJ— Phillip Thompson (@_phil_thompson) March 17, 2022
• Vlasic impressed in his first practice on Thursday morning, with Derek King commenting that “finally we have a defenseman that can make a pass around here.”
Iso on Alex Vlasic in a 3v3 drill pic.twitter.com/GHhydxx033— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) March 17, 2022
• More King on Vlasic’s first day with the Blackhawks: “His first pass is hard. He snaps that puck around pretty good.” King said after practice. “You could see the players were like, ‘I like this kid already.’ And then I had to chime in and say, ‘It’s about time we got a defenseman who can make a pass around here.'”
• King said that Vlasic would make his Blackhawks debut on Saturday when the Blackhawks take on the Wild in Minnesota.
• Scott Powers dives deep into Vlasic in an excellent breakdown of the newest member of the Blackhawks:
• Calvin de Haan has been getting an increased amount of mention in trade discussions in recent days. Interest goes back awhile, but most recenlty The Fourth Period’s Frank Pagnotta reporting that several teams are in the mix for de Haan, specifically mentioning the Toronto Maple Leafs as one of the interested teams.
With Hampus Lindholm & Mark Giordano getting most of the public attention, don't sleep on Calvin de Haan. Trade talks involving the #Blackhawks defenceman have picked up in the last day. Several teams in the mix.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) March 17, 2022
• The Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli moved de Haan up from 38th to 25th on his top-50 trade targets big board, reporting that the Boston Bruins are a team that has been eyeing the Blackhawks veteran blue-liner. Seravalli also noted that multiple teams have said that the asking price for de Haan is pretty high.
• As for the rest of the Blackhawks’ potential trade discussions, as discussed in yesterday’s Bullets, the Jets, Ducks, and Oilers are in the mix for Dominik Kubalík, but nothing has materialized there yet. It’s becoming more likely that Marc-Andrê Fleury will stay put beyond Monday’s trade deadline.
• Filip Forsberg hit the Flyers with the between the legs shot in Thursday’s 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center:
• Speaking of the Wells Fargo Center, Flyers forward Claude Giroux got emotional after the Flyers win over Nashville in what might have been the long-time Flyer:
• Philadelphia selected Giroux with the 22nd overall selection in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Giroux skated his 1,000th game with the Flyers on Thursday. The Philadelphia captain has 900 points during his 15 seasons with the Flyers.
• According to Emily Kaplan (among multiple other reputable sources), Giroux is likely heading to the Florida Panthers in a trade that will make the Panthers a heavy favorite in the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs. On Wednesday, Florida just traded for Ben Chiarot, sending a 2023 first-round pick, a 2022 fourth-round pick, and unsigned college prospect Tyler Smilanic to the Canadiens in return for the big defenseman from Montreal.
As I reported in this piece, all signs point to Claude Giroux heading to the Panthers… who are going all in this year.— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) March 18, 2022
According to sources, there was a snafu in talks on Wednesday – around same time Florida traded for Ben Chiarot – so we’ll see if that can get worked through. https://t.co/3ZmkELAvOr
• Ilya Sorokin with the SAVE OF THE YEAR!
• Ryan Poles dialed up his Kansas City connection to land Brandon Pringle on a one-year, $6 million deal.
• Also, this is wild:
• That’s it for today!