It’s another Blackhawks game day (because they’ve been doing that every other day for a couple weeks). It’s also Arvid Söderblom-time between the pipes because… well, everyone else is hurt. He’s good enough to do the job, but the two veterans on the NHL roster/payroll made him the starter in Rockford to open the year. Now he gets a shot at grabbing the net in Chicago for a while (maybe longer?) if he keeps playing well. The Kings are in town, so buckle in for another physical contest.
- Dylan Wells, who signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks on Wednesday morning to give Luke Richardson two healthy goaltenders, met with the media after practice. I can understand his smile and excitement at an NHL contract (hello, money!) but appreciate his concern for Stalock.
- Colton Dach‘s status was moved from week-to-week to day-to-day, which seems to indicate he’s closer to a return. Dach has been out since Oct. 15 because of his second concussion of this season; he suffered the first during the Blackhawks’ prospect showcase games against Minnesota before training camp.
- Ian Mitchell has had a locker in the Blackhawks’ room since the start of training camp, and he’s been in the press box throughout the start of the season. But, sadly, he hasn’t been able to play yet because of a wrist injury. The good news: he was back on the ice with the team on Wednesday skating.
- With the Blackhawks’ depth on the blue line, this was supposed to be a big year for Mitchell. And the NHL roster could use another puck-moving defenseman. If he can return — especially while Seth Jones is out — it could be a help for the club. I’ve been a fan of his since he was at Denver and would love to see him find a way into the rotation.
- Ben Pope spoke with general manager Kyle Davidson about two of his recent trades, both involving players drafted by Stan Bowman who were stuck in Rockford.
- I’m with Ben on this — I like Davidson’s response. Finding a better opportunity for players is a good thing. Not only does it open up ice time for other players in the system, but it also shows the organization is going to do the right thing for their own players (which agents like).
- The Rockford IceHogs had a fun, 10:30 AM CT start yesterday with hundreds of school kids — and the Blackhawks front office… and Scott Powers — in attendance. They lost the game 6-4 and one player Powers specifically went to watch was noticeable for all the wrong reasons. Lukas Reichel, the Blackhawks’ top signed forward prospect, didn’t have a good day with Davidson and his guys watching. Which is disappointing.
- Here’s some of what Powers wrote about the performance:
Reichel had a chance to answer all those questions and impress Davidson and company in Wednesday’s game. If he wanted to really show they were wrong for shipping him to Rockford to start the season, this would have been a great opportunity to do so.
Reichel didn’t do that, though. Whether it was the early start, lack of motivation or just something else, Reichel looked off throughout much of Wednesday’s game. He was noticeable for the wrong reasons. IceHogs coach Anders Sorensen saw it, too.
“I just didn’t think he had the compete level we expect from him,” Sorensen said after the IceHogs’ 6-4 loss. “I think he’s improved in that area, but today was a couple steps back, unfortunately.”
- Finally, since there are times to be nostalgic and anniversaries bring up fun emotions, let’s kick it back six years. Yesterday was the anniversary of the Cubs winning the World Series. That, too was a Wednesday. But the Cubs were in Cleveland, and many of us cried that night when Bryant made the throw to Rizzo to put 108 years to bed. I didn’t join this wonderful group of folks until earlier this year but this remains the best piece I read after that glorious night.