Stalock's Solid Debut, Kane's Value, Heckling Sid, Beniers' Hot Start, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Stalock’s Solid Debut, Kane’s Value, Heckling Sid, Beniers’ Hot Start, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks wake up winless, but last night they were just as close to a W as the Bears. No, that doesn’t make the loss feel better (for us or the Bears) but they did everything but score (like the Bears). And the man in goal, who was a huge question mark when he signed, showed out.

  • A second night of an undermanned team competing hard and the Blackhawks are 0-2-0. Chicago did throw 41 hits (according to the box score) and they hung around thanks in large part to Alex Stalock‘s marvelous performance. He was our No. 1 Star of the Game for the Blackhawks.
  • Here’s what Stalock had to say about his game after the fact:
  • That’s what we’ve seen from these Blackhawks thus far. The effort has been there, and they’re competing. Last night they were playing a solid Vegas team that beat up on a playoff Kings team and the Hawks hung around until the end. I’ll take it.
  • Stalock is going to be an adventure to watch with the puck. Scott Darling said a few times in the studio that he’s the best puck-handling goaltender he’s seen after Marty Turco, who was one of the best ever. So there might be some exciting moments, but there will undoubtedly be some nervous ones as well.
  • The Blackhawks stayed out of the box for the most part, making it more than 37 minutes before taking a penalty. Chicago killed all three penalties they had to serve in the game, bringing their kill percentage up to 55% on the season (5 of 9). Again, baby steps, but we’re heading in the right direction.
  • I thought Philipp Kurashev had another nice night. He’s got wheels and put them to work, skating 15:44 with at least 70 seconds on both special teams. He was credited with three shots on net and three hits.
  • If Andreas Athanasiou doesn’t start making things happen, Kurashev might push him down the lineup pretty soon.
  • We aren’t going to be able to escape trade rumors this year. On Thursday, Travis Yost at TSN wrote a solid piece evaluating Patrick Kane‘s trade value. He digs in on Kane’s offense and his defense; the reason a team would look at making a deal for Kane (noting his no-move clause) is because he’s still an offensive catalyst for anyone.
  • Here’s Yost presenting the Catch-22 of Kane’s contract:

The contract in and of itself is a quagmire to consider. On one hand, you have a great hedge in place if a trade doesn’t work out – Kane’s contract expires next summer, and if the aging curve starts to bite hard on his scoring, a buying team won’t be financially hooked.

On the other hand, you have the reality of the NHL’s economic landscape. Nearly a third of the league is pressed against the cap, and fitting in Kane’s contract, even with salary retained, will be awfully difficult. And considering Kane’s no-move clause, some of the most desirable teams – generally your quality playoff teams and Stanley Cup contenders – may not be viable landing spots because of a cap crunch.

  • I don’t have to tell Blackhawks fans what Kane means to this city and organization — 88 will be retired some day down the road. And it still feels like most Blackhawks fans don’t want Kane to ever wear another sweater, rebuild be damned. But, again, these rumors and analysis pieces are going to continue until either a trade happens, the trade deadline passes or Kane tells the world he wants to stay in Chicago.
  • A friendly reminder: even though it appears Frank Nazar won’t play for a bit, the No. 6 University of Michigan Wolverines will host Drew Commesso, Ryan Greene and the No. 9 Boston University Terriers tonight and Sunday.
  • Captain Colton Dach and his Kelowna Rockets will host their Canadian Cancer Society game tonight and we got a first look at Dach’s pink jersey. Looks good! Might need to look into buying one…
  • It looks like Paul Ludwinski is all good and ready to roll with Kingston after missing the preseason in Chicago in concussion protocol after the prospect showcase. The 39th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft looked good this summer.
  • Somebody thought it was a good idea to invite the Spittin’ Chiclets guys to the Pens game last night… and put a hot mic in front of them during the game. Poor Sidney Crosby had to try to keep a straight face while the guys gave him hell from their suite.
  • Sid got the joke and has a good sense of humor. He invited the guys into the dressing room for a photo after the game.
  • I’ve said on Twitter a few times that Matty Beniers of the Kraken (and, before that, Michigan) reminds me of Jonathan Toews. Last night he joined Toews and Joe Sakic on a pretty incredible list. Seattle visits the Blackhawks one week from Sunday, so get your tickets to see both Beniers and Toews in action now.
  • Finally, back to the Bears. Luis has had just about enough, and shared his thoughts late night after another loss.


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