Welcome to the offseason, Blackhawks fans! After a hectic couple weeks that included a draft, a flurry of franchise-altering trades and a development camp, the dust is settling for Chicago’s NHL franchise.
- We attended the Blackhawks’ development camp all week and knocked out a lot of content. We put a bow on the week Friday after the scrimmage with some final thoughts about the week that was.
- The camp gave us an opportunity to see all 11 of the Blackhawks’ draft choices from this summer in person on the ice. It was great to be back in the rink and have the ability to interact with the young players again for the first time in a few years. Our impression of Kyle Davidson’s job in his first draft: the organization added a lot of speed and skill.
- New Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson spoke with the media to close the week and shared with us that he’s already making some significant changes to how the team will play. Most importantly: he’s taking them back to a zone defense, leaving Jeremy Colliton’s man scheme in the dumpster.
- If you want to go back and watch the entire scrimmage again, or in case you missed it on Friday morning, you can do that here.
- The Blackhawks had Chris Vosters, the new home play-by-play voice, and Colby Cohen calling the action at Fifth Third Arena. They were joined during the broadcast by a host of guests including Davidson, Richardson and Assistant General Manager of Development Mark Eaton. They offered some good perspective on the action on the ice and the direction of the franchise.
- The Stanley Cup was in Illinois on Friday. JT Compher brought the greatest trophy in sports home to Northbrook and had a day packed with pictures and friends. He’s a great person and we always love seeing pictures from players’ days with the Cup. Sadly, it might be a while before we see Blackhawks players taking the tour.
- Could Kirby Dach’s days in Montreal be numbered… already? The Winnipeg Jets have a sticky situation on their hands with young forward Pierre-Luc Dubois, whom they acquired in a blockbuster trade for Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic. It appears Dubois, who is an RFA right now, desperately wants to play in Montreal. And this report seems to indicate Dach might be included in a package to get Dubois to his desired destination.
- From the article at The Athletic:
But Dach is not Montreal’s endgame. The Canadiens have continued their pursuit of Dubois since the draft.
It is believed that Winnipeg is holding up the deal in an effort to secure a player Montreal has no interest in moving.
- Dubois has the same agent as Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Seth Jones — Pat Brisson (who is also working on a long-term extension for Nathan MacKinnon in Colorado right now). He’s a busy agent with an impressive client list and lots of moving pieces of his own. And, right now, the player he’s trying to get traded appears to be Dubois, not one of Chicago’s three expensive veterans.
- Outside Chicago, Calgary is still trying to understand why Johnny Gaudreau would leave for Columbus. And even their local CBC news are taking shots at the decision.
- Former Blackhawk and, now, former Florida Panthers interim head coach Andrew Brunette found a new job — in New Jersey. He’ll be a Devils’ associate coach this season. Good for him!
- We regularly share notes from the “32 Thoughts” Podcast from Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek, who guys who as plugged in as anyone in the game. There isn’t much Blackhawks talk in their final episode of the 2021-22 year (which dropped Friday), but there is still a lot to unpack and it’s worth a listen.
- Finally, since we just got through an NHL draft, Chicago fans can now turn their attention to Sunday’s MLB draft. Since the Cubs actually have a first round pick before the day of the draft, our guys have been tracking mock drafts for months. Now, with the weekend of the draft upon us, who might be the Cubs’ guy on Sunday?