Roster Moves Coming, We Need More Shots, Prospects Talk at World Juniors Camp, Ovi Watch is On, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

The Bears didn’t play yesterday and the Blackhawks didn’t practice so I took a nap. A good, long nap. And woke up in time to watch one of the more ridiculous ends to a Bulls game I can remember. But Monday brings a practice and we’re a day away from what could shape up to be a pretty exciting night in Chicago for hockey. Well, the visitors… and fans.

  • The Blackhawks started the new week with good news. Goaltender Petr Mrazek has been activated of IR, giving the Hawks one of their two veteran netminders available for the coming week ahead. And it’s a busy one, with games on Tuesday and Thursday at home and in Minnesota on Friday.
  • After the game on Friday night, head coach Luke Richardson was late getting out to chat with the media because he was meeting with the Blackhawks’ front office brain trust to discuss the current roster situation. With Mrazek back for tomorrow night’s game, the Hawks were able to send Jaxson Stauber back to Rockford. But whenever Tyler Johnson or Alex Stalock is ready to return, the Hawks will have to make another roster decision (or two). And they’ll likely make one before that because, with Jarred Tinordi back on Friday, they’re now carrying eight defensemen on the NHL roster. So I’ll be keeping an eye on the transaction wire today to see if anyone else is headed to the AHL.
  • Are you one of those people who sits in the 300 level (or your living room/man cave/she shed/etc at home) who finds themselves screaming “SHOOT IT!” about a dozen times during every Blackhawks game this season? Well, there is an analytical argument that you’re right (though yelling it from Section 302 row 2 seat 13 never got me the shot on net I was requesting). Ben Pope went in on the Blackhawks not generating offense when they have a chance.
  • TSN spoke with Blackhawks prospect Ethan Del Mastro at Canada’s camp about bringing the successful summer appearance at the World Junior Championship (read: he won gold) into the team this fall. Over the summer, Del Mastro was initially cut from the team but was a late injury replacement on the roster and served as a depth defenseman. It looks like he could be expected to carry a heavier work load this time around for Canada.
  • Del Mastro opens the interview saying how nice it is to be in camp from the start this time and not jumping in late. And he speaks about how important it was for his development to play on a loaded Canada roster over the summer. It’s a solid almost four minute interview. I really like everything I’ve seen and heard from Del Mastro over the past year and have high hopes for him not only for Canada in the coming weeks but in Chicago down the road.
  • One of the 2023 NHL Draft prospects I’ve been keeping an eye on this season has been University of Michigan freshman center Adam Fantilli. He’s a stud, and has the size you would love to have as a top-line center. He isn’t with his Wolverines team right now; he’s with five Blackhawks prospects at camp with Hockey Canada battling for a roster spot for the upcoming World Juniors.
  • Yesterday I wrote about the possibility that Alexander Ovechkin makes history at the United Center on Tuesday night. We now know that he needs a hat trick tomorrow to reach 800 career regular season goals, joining Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky as the only players in NHL history to reach that mark.
  • This morning’s IYKYK Holiday Edition comes from my kitchen last night, where Keith on a Wreath was hanging out with the Elf on a Shelf.
  • If you were prospect watching last night, you saw Samuel Savoie score twice for Gatineau. He now has 15 goals and 16 assists in 28 games. And, if you think back to before the season when we talked about where the coaches and front office like their players to be, “Savoie in his office” being between the circles is on brand for the next generation of Blackhawks. Love to see it.
  • Finally, I mentioned the insane Bulls game last night. If you missed it, here’s our game recap. It was absolutely insane.
  • written by

    Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

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