The Blackhawks gets a fun 2 PM CT start in Winnipeg today. With a light practice after a big home win on Thursday night, they’re on the road today with an earlier than usual start. Let me know where you’re watching the game this afternoon in the comments! I’ll be enjoying a cigar because, well, that’s what I do. Feel free to join me.
- It looks like defenseman Alec Regula will draw into the lineup for Filip Roos this afternoon. Roos has been okay, but he’s a rookie. And, remember, this is also his first year playing on North American ice, so his performance has been pretty good all things considered. But I’d like to see if they can find a way to get Regula some more run.
- Ian Mitchell is working his way back from a wrist injury suffered before training camp opened. He’s been on the ice in a non-contact white jersey this week and is showing signs that he might be able to ramp it up soon.
- Just a reminder that this guy’s hot right now. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for his hometown Jets this afternoon.
- The Athletic is counting down their top 100 players in NHL history (they’re calling it NHL 99 because they’re really counting down the 99 players other than No. 99 on the list). Saturday brings us to No. 78, where they rank former Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith. Mark Lazerus wrote the piece and focuses most of it on Keith’s iconic performance in the 2015 postseason in which he elevated his profile from one of the best defensemen of his generation to a legend and certain Hall of Famer. This is a solid write-up so give it a read.
“Keith never had the offensive flair of a Cale Makar because he wasn’t asked to do that. And he didn’t have the old-school, shutdown reputation of a Hjalmarsson because he wasn’t asked to do that. But he could skate with anyone. He could pass as well as anyone. And he could kill plays between the blue line and the red line better than anyone. He didn’t have a specialty. He was all specialty.”
- A couple former Blackhawks, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Dylan Strome, are now teammates in Washington. And they melted my heart with this campaign with their puppies.
- Entering Friday, Nov. 4, the Boston Bruins are 10-1-0 and in first place in the entire National Hockey League. Write that one down and store it somewhere for later, because…
- On Friday, the Boston Bruins announced they have signed defenseman Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract. Miller, 20, was originally a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft by the Arizona Coyotes. Last season he had 83 points in 60 games for Tri-City in the USHL and was named the league’s player of the year. That’s the hockey side of Mitchell Miller.
- The Coyotes renounced his draft rights three weeks after selecting him because of the blowback from the hockey community and on social media for even considering the talented defenseman. Why? Because when Mitchell Miller was 14, he was involved in multiple racial bullying incidents of a special needs student which resulted in a conviction in juvenile court.
- Social media has absolutely crushed the Bruins for this since it was announced on Friday. Even Boston’s GM, Don Sweeney, didn’t sell the decision very well in his press comments. “I can’t categorically tell you this is the absolute right decision,” Sweeney said. Whelp…
- Oh, and Sweeney’s leadership group at the NHL level?
- Oh, and good luck to Sweeney dealing with this:
- So… I have a few thoughts here. First, I want to be clear that I am a believer in allowing someone the opportunity to show remorse and grow from their actions. Lord knows I did stuff in junior high/middle school that I wouldn’t do today — but none of it is anywhere close to what Miller did. Knocking over a port-o-potty isn’t really awful in the bigger picture.
- What Miller did is disgusting on every level imaginable. However, I haven’t spent time with Miller (don’t really want to — my wife has taught special education for 20 years and what he did makes me sick). I don’t know where he is as a person to make a statement on whether or not he’s grown up, matured or whether or not his character has changed.
- But from a hockey perspective, why would a team like the Bruins, absolutely rolling with every good vibe, invite this into their lives? The link I shared above about Patrice Bergeron — a future Hall of Famer who almost retired after last season but came back for one more run at a Cup — speaks to what he’s about. And you sign this kid?
- This could very easily cost Sweeney his job. And maybe it should. He’s taking a huge chance on a kid he doesn’t need to gamble his career on and to what end? I’m going to shake my head about this one for a long time…
- Finally, let’s wrap our Saturday morning bullets with a laugh. This will bring a smile to my face forever.