Another day without a Blackhawks game means we’re looking at hockey elsewhere (at least until the Blackhawks practice later this morning). Chicago did make one significant move on Monday, activating Petr Mrazek off IR (while placing Alex Stalock there in his place). So at least they should have a somewhat settle goaltending situation heading to California for a couple games.
- I think anyone who has met Connor Murphy hopes he gets a ring in Chicago. Over the weekend… he kinda did. Well, more literally, he offered one. Murph got engaged! Congrats to the happy couple and kudos for getting an amazing Chicago weekend in early November to have beautiful photos taken.
- When the Blackhawks announced Luke Richardson would be their new head coach, there were instantly questions about the future of Derek King with the organization. He stayed, and has transitioned to being a key part of Richardson’s coaching staff. And the sense of humor we all came to appreciate in postgame comments is still there.
- The new USA Hockey Magazine poll hit on Monday and the Blackhawks have prospects all over the poll once again. Event without Frank Nazar skating for No. 3 Michigan, the Blackhawks have prospects at No. 2, 4, 9, 11, 14, 18 and 19.
- Marian Hossa is making the media rounds right now promoting his new book. He appeared on the NHL Network on Monday and the crew talked to him about some of his teammates, including Patrick Kane.
- In the book, Hossa talks about how playing with (and practicing against) Pavel Datsyuk during his one year in Detroit totally changed his approach to the game. But this interview is fun and has some good nuggets in it about a few other players with whom he shared the ice during his Hall of Fame career.
- The Blackhawks will retire Hossa’s jersey on Sunday, Nov. 20.
- Player development is a complex proposition. There are elements the organization needs to provide for the player and lead the player to use/do, but the player needs to own their growth as a player and work to become better. The intersection of those two areas was where Kirby Dach’s three years in Chicago have been deemed a failure. Both sides didn’t do enough to make him a better player, so the new Blackhawks front office traded him to Montreal this past summer.
- Now, it appears a more mature Dach is taking advantage of the Canadiens opportunity to work harder and become a better player. Eric Engels talked to Dach about how he’s using some off-ice tools to improve his performance on the ice, where he has ten points in the Habs’ first 12 games.
- A couple things Kirby said that stuck out to me from this article:
“For me, I just watch more technical stuff with Scott Pellerin and Adam Nicholas, working on time and space and finding ways to shoot more pucks. Those are the areas I look at video to understand a bit more.”
“They let you know they have it, but as a player, it’s your own responsibility to take your own development into your own hands and help yourself out.”
- It’s good to see Kirby taking full advantage of his new lease on the NHL in Montreal. It would be great for the Canadiens if he became somewhere close to the player some thought he could be when the Blackhawks selected him third overall.
- With that being said, this is another reminder that the previous Blackhawks’ front office failed to have tools in place to help players develop. Again, I’m not putting the three years of Dach in Chicago being underwhelming completely on the organization or the player, but both sides needed to do more and didn’t.
- From what I’ve heard speaking with a number of prospects who are in college and juniors right now, the Blackhawks’ new front office appears to be be putting their words into practice and are doing the things an organization needs to if it wants to provide players with an opportunity to develop to their potential. So maybe the lessons learned from the failures with Dach can help make the next generation in Chicago more successful.
- Finally, I’m going to join our Bears crew in staying hyped about the ascension of Justin Fields this season. Get excited, Chicago. The kid’s for real.