Puppy Practice for Strome, More Trade Thoughts, Lightning Get Gretzky’s Attention, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

If you’re like me, you spent a big chunk of your Monday evening cleaning up tree branches and the rest of the mess from the storm that blew through the Chicago suburbs last night. Hopefully everyone out there is okay and ComEd gets the power back on soon. The good news: we didn’t miss any hockey last night. But there’s still news to discuss.

  • As the Blackhawks continue building their profile for the next head coach, we have thoughts. What would our ideal head coach have on his/her resume?
  • Dylan Strome got in some shooting practice with his puppy, Benny, on Monday. That’s pretty good defense. If the Hawks are really committed to tanking…
  • The Edmonton Oil Kings, including Blackhawks forward prospect Jalen Luypen, clinched a spot in the Memorial Cup on Monday night when they clinched the WHL championship. Their 2-0 win over Seattle puts a few more games on their calendars this summer.
  • Yesterday we wrote about how a soft free agent class on the blue line could help the Blackhawks in the trade market. You can still vote in our Twitter poll this morning. Should Chicago trade a veteran defenseman?
  • Some intriguing comments from New York Rangers coach Gerard Gallant in their end-of-season media availability on Monday. The Rangers did sign disgruntled forward Vitali Kravtsov to a one-year deal (he has openly asked for a trade previously), but Gallant’s comments about pending RFA forward Kaapo Kakko raised some eyebrows.
  • Kakko was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft — immediately before the Blackhawks selected Kirby Dach. Both players have underwhelmed thus far in their NHL careers. He’s an interesting name to watch this summer; the Rangers have plenty of roster spots to fill and not a lot of cap space available.
  • The Lightning are going for a three-peat, something the NHL hasn’t seen in nearly 40 years. The Great One played against those Islanders teams in the early 1980s and made the comparison. This is a fun read with players from that Isles dynasty commenting on Gretzky’s comp. What do you think?
  • Finally, our almost-daily check-in on the Zach LaVine Summer Sweepstakes. Will he stay or will he go?
  • written by

    Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

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