Canada won 11-1 and the USA won 7-1 in two enormous wins at the World Juniors on Thursday. Thankfully, we don’t have a 9 PM puck drop for the Americans on Friday night after two late-night games this week. We’ll tune in for Sweden against Austria at 1 PM CT on Friday.
- The Blackhawks started our Friday with two new contracts. Caleb Jones and Philipp Kurashev, the two RFAs who received qualifying offers, signed one-year extensions with the team.
- The late game at the World Juniors saw the United States flip the switch in the middle of the second period and sprint away from a Swiss squad that was giving them fits. Landon Slaggert’s line did the heavy lifting, combining for seven points in the US’s five-goal middle period.
- In the middle game at the World Juniors, Canada hung an 11-1 loss on Slovakia. It wasn’t close, and the Connor Bedard legend continues to grow. Mason McTavish had a natural hat trick in the second period and the game was over before the second intermission.
- Blackhawks blue line prospect Ethan Del Mastro got into the lineup on Thursday night and skated 15:02. He did a nice job. But was credited with zero shots on goal or points in the game.
- The Seattle Kraken made the move of Eddie Olczyk to their broadcast booth officially official on Thursday. Yes, we’re still sad.
- In a sports media column covering a wide range of topics including a potential new home for Chicago Bears radio, Jeff Agrest at the Chicago Sun-Times mentioned a former Blackhawks scorer potentially replacing Edzo. Here’s what Agrest had to say about the Blackhawks’ color commentary gig:
The Blackhawks are pursuing Patrick Sharp to be their TV analyst on NBCSCH, though it’s unclear whether he’d be the full-time analyst or share the job. Before Eddie Olczyk’s departure for the Kraken’s booth, radio analyst Troy Murray was expected to fill in when Olczyk was working a TNT game. Sharp moved his family to Connecticut, so if he declines the full-time job, Murray could figure prominently in the team’s plans.
- Scott Powers answered some questions from fans over at The Athletic before taking off on vacation. He, too, addressed replacing Olczyk in the seat next to Chris Vosters this season. Powers mentioned only Murray as a solid replacement for Edzo, which makes a lot of sense. And we’re hoping Murray’s health is good enough that he can do a full season whether it’s on radio or moving to the television side of the booth.
- Powers also answered a question about Chicago’s first-round pick from 2021 Nolan Allan. With all of the defensemen in the system, it feels like Allan has become a lost man in the conversation and the crowded system. Here’s part of what Powers had to say about his fit with the new front office:
I don’t think the Blackhawks have written Allan off, but I also don’t think this hockey operations staff envisions Allan having as large of a role as the last staff did as a first-round pick.
- Former Blackhawks netminder Robin Lehner hasn’t worked out as well as the Vegas Golden Knights would have hoped in net, and they’ll now have to figure out what to do this season without him. The team announced on Thursday that Lehner will miss the entire 2022-23 regular season because of hip surgery.
- Finally, the World Juniors wasn’t the only news we reported on late last night. Unfortunate news for a young player we hoped would make an impact for the Bulls this year.