National TV Fun(?), A Not-So Sharp Opinion, Mask Art in Rockford, Ottawa Spending Big, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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National TV Fun(?), A Not-So Sharp Opinion, Mask Art in Rockford, Ottawa Spending Big, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

It feels like Blackhawks fans are kinda torn on their feelings about the Blackhawks’ new-look television booth. Well, we found out on Wednesday that NBC Sports Chicago will air 69 (yeah, nice) of the Blackhawks’ 82 regular season games this year.

  • The NHL made some serious changes to the times of games on the calendar for the coming season on Wednesday afternoon. They did it because the national television schedules were announced, and the Blackhawks — even in their current state — are getting plenty of coast-to-coast love.
  • The Blackhawks’ first game of the season — when the banner is raised in Denver — is on TNT (see above), the first of nine nationally televised games in the United States. Here’s the rest of the slate:
  • Oct. 12 @ Colorado (TNT)
  • Nov. 16 vs St. Louis (TNT)
  • Nov. 30 vs Edmonton (TNT)
  • Dec. 18 vs New York Rangers (ESPN)
  • Feb. 15 @ Toronto (TNT)
  • Feb. 22 @ Dallas (TNT)
  • March 8 @ Detroit (TNT)
  • April 1 vs New Jersey (ESPN2)
  • April 10 vs Minnesota (ESPN)
  • The Blackhawks also have five games that are exclusively streaming on ESPN+/Hulu:
  • Nov. 10 @ LA
  • Dec. 16 @ Minnesota
  • Dec. 23 vs Columbus
  • Feb. 19 vs Toronto
  • March 16 @ Nashville
  • Seven other Blackhawks games had their times flexed, so make sure you double-check the schedule if you have tickets or plan on watching. But these are the games that will require some channel surfing if you aren’t paying attention.
  • Oh, by the way, Blackhawks tickets go on sale soon!
  • Patrick Kane plays with a lot of speed on the ice. But apparently he would prefer his skates aren’t as sharp as they could be when he’s playing. Apparently that’s something else Alex DeBrincat learned from his now-former teammate.
  • NHL dot com had the audacity to ask who the first player to wear No. 88 is that comes to mind when you see the digits. Okay, okay… there have been a few decent players. But are we really asking this question? It’s Kaner. And the London Knights know it, too.
  • I played football in high school and college, and there were few things I hated more than running stairs in any stadium — but especially a big one. Frank Nazar and his Michigan teammates ran stairs on Wednesday — at The Big House (one of the largest stadiums on the planet). Good for them. I’m gonna go ahead and not follow suit.
  • If you’re like me, you absolutely love the artwork that goes into a goaltender’s mask. And we’ve had some great ones in the past with the Blackhawks (I’m still a huge fan of Eddie “The Eagle” Belfour’s artwork to this day). Jaxson Stauber is starting his rookie season in the AHL this year and will have some incredible IceHogs artwork on his mask for the new season.
  • Lukas Reichel has been at the Upper Deck NHLPA Rookie Showcase, and shared whose hockey cards he would collect. His answer? Different than most of the other rookies, but he clearly knows how to make friends with his future teammates.
  • This week we’ve spent some time sharing a few names Blackhawks fans should keep an eye on during the coming season just in case Chicago doesn’t land Connor Bedard in the 2023 NHL Draft. You’ve heard us talk about how deep the 2023 NHL Draft class is supposed to be, so picking after No. 1 overall isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker for the rebuild.
  • The Ottawa Senators had a little buzz with some bodies on the ice on Wednesday. The eight-year deal for Tim Stützle reportedly has a cap hit of $8.35 million, which is a really nice deal for both sides. Stützle, 20, emerged as a bona fide offensive threat last season and has scored 34 goals in 132 NHL games. He’s an important building block in their building process; they took him third overall in the 2020 NHL Draft. So locking him up for the max eight years was a smart, necessary play.
  • Then we saw this and cried a little (okay, maybe a lot).
  • The Stützle deal once again confirms that DeBrincat is going to be a $10 million AAV player, a number the Blackhawks had to consider with him entering the final year of his contract and eligible for an eight-year max deal as well.
  • Also, am I the only one who, when he thinks about the Senators, sings “OTTAWA” to Van Halen’s “Panama“? Please tell me I’m not…
  • Finally, get used to us sharing prospect highlights on the hockey side of things. We’ve been doing it for the next generation(s) of Cubs players for years. And we had a good one from Brennan Davis last night.

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Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab