A Tank Loss, Trade Winds Increasing, Chicago's Strong Attendance, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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A Tank Loss, Trade Winds Increasing, Chicago’s Strong Attendance, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

This week stacks up as an important one for the Blackhawks. Not only are we now post-All-Star Break (hello, trade season), but this week presents two opportunities for the Hawks to host teams that are in the mix for the top lottery odds in the coming draft. Last night they welcomed Anaheim to the United Center and successfully (if you will) lost (albeit in overtime). Next up: Arizona on Friday.

  • The Blackhawks added one point in the standings last night, but took the L in overtime to a Ducks team that’s right behind them in the Bad for Bedard Sweepstakes. Chicago’s rejuvenated top line of Patrick Kane, Jason Dickinson and a healthy (finally… for now…) Tyler Johnson was terrific all night and produced both goals; Dickinson scored one and assisted on the other. You can see below that they were easily the Blackhawks’ best skaters last night.
  • If you’ve been watching Dickinson this season, the points finally coming are a welcome payoff for all of his hard work this season. After two long, hard, minimally productive months (at least in the box score), he’s back in the scoring category with goals in three straight games. He’s been impressive all year on and off the ice.
  • Since it’s trade rumor season…
  • We’ve seen/read/heard the Bruins and Rangers tied to Blackhawks players — specifically Kane — with some amount of frequency this year. Toronto has been linked to Jake McCabe a lot over the past month or so. The rest of these are kinda fun to speculate about, especially Tampa and Pittsburgh having two scouts each on the seating chart last night.
  • Lots of buzz about Kane and Jonathan Toews on the rumor mill yesterday. Not only have both players been supplied a list of teams that are interested, but their mutual agent, Pat Brisson, told Pierre LeBrun that IF (big IF) he decides to accept a trade, teams will have 7-10 days to get their affairs in order to make their best offer.
  • The good news for the Blackhawks this season has been, despite the losing, fans are still showing up to the United Center. Will they continue if/when Kane and/or Toews is no longer here? We’ll see. But this season Chicago has shown it’s still a hockey town, even if the team isn’t competing like it did a decade ago.
  • As we all get wrapped up in draft picks and how they could help the future, it’s worth remembering that sometimes important players come from after the first two rounds. The Blackhawks did relatively well in identifying players in the later rounds who would become NHL players in the previous decade. This tweet provided a couple interesting graphics to that effect.
  • You wanna know where I’ll be on Saturday, Feb. 18? Standing in line to get an autograph from Steve Larmer. Gramps and Andrew Shaw are appearing at the Ludex Card Show in Rosemont.
  • This was reported last week but now appears to be official. The NHLPA will apparently have a new leader at some point in the near future.
  • Buffalo raised some eyebrows yesterday when they paid Dylan Cozens. Their young center is emerging as a legit top-six star on a team that’s become a lot of fun to watch this season. With Cozens and Tage Thompson both now locked up long-term, the Sabres are starting to build a team that’s going to make noise for years to come.
  • Finally, the Cubs revealed their promo schedule yesterday and there are some legit must-haves on the list for the 2023 season. Which game do you see that is an absolute need?

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