St. Louis Claps Back, Blackhawks Getting Healthy, King Enjoying His Role, NHL Talks Protective Gear, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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St. Louis Claps Back, Blackhawks Getting Healthy, King Enjoying His Role, NHL Talks Protective Gear, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

It’s rivalry night at the United Center with the Blues in town. There was a little buzz between the two cities this week (we’ll get into that in a second), and fans in St. Louis have been jumping into my mentions all week after I had the audacity to follow up on a report the Blues might be open to moving veterans if they don’t start winning games. Good times are coming tonight on social media, kids!

  • First off, I threw it out there on Twitter this morning and I’m going to share it again here: if there’s one question you would ask Marian Hossa, what is it? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.
  • On Monday night, Scott Darling took a shot at the city of St. Louis. On Tuesday, Kelly Chase shot back, and it appears he wants all the smoke. Chase spent eight years of his playing career in St. Louis over two different stops there. His first stint with the Blues ended when they put him on waivers, and the Hartford Whalers claimed him. So… maybe the guy defending the city should have asked them to want to keep him in his “prime”?
  • Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Max Domi got the day off on Tuesday (maintenance). But Toews’ dominance at the dot was still a hot topic of conversation in the dressing room, where Joe Brand of WGN asked Taylor Raddysh about it. This is what happens when you get to skate regularly with a future Hall of Famer, kids.
  • Some good news on the health front, it appears Jason Dickinson will be back in the lineup for the Blackhawks tonight against St. Louis. This should help the Blackhawks down the middle against the Blues and bring some balance back to the bottom six, which struggled in the games without Dickinson skating with Sam Lafferty.
  • I really enjoyed this piece from Mark Lazerus at The Athletic about Derek King. He was the interim head coach last year and, by all indications, the players liked him. But GM Kyle Davidson opted to go outside the organization for his first head coach hire, bringing in Luke Richardson. GMKD told everyone it was a priority to do right by King because he’d been put in a terrible spot babysitting a broken team through an awful second half, and he was willing to stay on and work with the forwards on Richardson’s staff.

That’s not to say that King didn’t enjoy his stint as the Blackhawks’ interim head coach following Jeremy Colliton’s firing in early November last season. Nor is it to say King isn’t proud of the work he did in taking over a moribund team at arguably the nadir of franchise history and almost singlehandedly flipping the vibe around while turning it into a competitive squad. Nor does it mean King didn’t want to keep the job. He very much wanted to keep the job.

But this is where he’s happiest. This is where he’s doing the most good. This is where he belongs. The title is almost irrelevant.

  • Two members of the Blackhawks’ dynasty teams are now, for the first time, eligible to be considered for the Hockey Hall of Fame: Corey Crawford and Brent Seabrook. This morning I made the case for 7 to be voted into the Hall. What do you think?
  • At the general manager’s meetings this week, the NHL started talking about jerseys that would better protect players from getting cut by skate blades. It sounds like the players haven’t been open to adding any mandatory equipment; they favor the freedom and flexibility that comes from minimal extra gear. But this makes sense in the wake of Evander Kane’s scary injury. Like helmets and visors, if it is going to better protect players from potentially catastrophic injury, there at least needs to be a conversation.
  • Best in-game interview of the season? Or best in-game interview of the decade? You decide.
  • Finally, it’s free agency season in baseball. But I don’t need to tell you that — our guys do the best job out there of keeping you on top of the Cubs’ transactions and roster projections.

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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