After a day without meaningful hockey, the World Juniors crank up with two semifinal games today. Canada faces the Czechia squad that sent the US packing at 3 PM CT and then Sweden faces Finland at 7 PM CT. Ethan Del Mastro (Canada) and Victor Stjernborg (Sweden) will try to help their teams face each other in the championship game.
- If you’re focused on the 2023 NHL Draft (like the Blackhawks’ front office), it’s time to start planning a road trip. Hopefully the Nashville Predators are more friendly with tickets to Chicagoans for the draft (and NHL Awards) next summer than they have been with us trying to see a regular season game.
- Speaking of the Blackhawks’ front office, we added a new feature to our Blackhawks coverage here at Bleacher Nation. We now have a page set up where we’re going to track everything Kyle Davidson does as the general manager of the Blackhawks. From his first day as the interim GM through this crazy summer, it’s all there. And we’re going to continue updating throughout his tenure as the GM of the Blackhawks.
- In the wake of The Athletic publishing the results of their fan confidence poll grading every NHL front office, we had some thoughts about how we can appropriately assess the new regime in Chicago given their limited time in the job (and mess they inherited).
- The IIHF started throwing around some of the data they have collected from the World Juniors. One of their tweets on Thursday shared the three fastest skater speeds in this summer’s tournament. And Blackhawks’ prospect and USA forward Dominic James was included. Remember what the Blackhawks’ brass told us they were valuing moving forward: speed.
- The Blackhawks are calling the upcoming preseason game in Milwaukee against the Minnesota Wild a “Home Away From Home Series” game. Apparently they want that to be a thing, and are looking to market it in a big way. As this points out, the Blackhawks are looking to trademark that name for “Clothing, namely, hats, shirts and jackets” use.
- Ryan Sikes, who writes about the Chicago Steel, chatted with Derek Plante about coming back to the Blackhawks.
- Plante left the University of Minnesota-Duluth this summer to come back to the Blackhawks, where he had served as a player development coach for five years. Here’s what he had to say in the interview about returning to Chicago and the Blackhawks.
“I just think there’s an opportunity,” Derek said on why he re-joined the Blackhawks. “I think I’ve had some little opportunities before, but the kids are younger, and I know in pro hockey, sometimes you’re moving up or moving out every three years, one way or another, right? Zam is going to most likely be in Chicago anyway, so it just seemed like a good year to do it and a good opportunity.”
- We’re gonna stay on the prospect hype train again today and remind you that the Cubs traded a player lots of people loved (El Mago) for a kid who had almost zero professional experience in Pete Crow-Armstrong. And, one year later, PCA looks like he’s the goods.