Blackhawks Bullets: Testing Toews, Dancin' Fantilli, Blue Line Buyers

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Testing Toews, Getzlaf’s Thoughts, Dancin’ Fantilli, Blue Line Buyers, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

You know what’s awesome? Waiting almost ten days for a Blackhawks’ game and then having multiple days off in between. Two games this week is just marvelous for fans who want to watch games. It is helpful for a team that still has some guys working through some stuff physically, however. The three highest-paid players on the roster were all absent from practice yesterday; the Captain is still sick and the others needed a maintenance day. There’s a lot going on off the ice right now, so let’s get to it.

  • Jonathan Toews hasn’t practiced yet this week because of a non-COVID illness. The Blackhawks have told us they believe it’s the flu. Last night on SportsNet’s broadcast coverage and again on NHL Network Radio on Sirius/XM this morning, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reported that Toews went for tests yesterday to see if his current situation is in any way related to the chronic immune response syndrome that shut him down for a season. So stay tuned for more on that… I’m sure it’ll come up at practice today.
  • I didn’t see this when it dropped last week but found it interesting nonetheless, so here you go. Long-time Ducks star/captain/hero Ryan Getzlaf played his entire career in Anaheim; he crossed paths with Toews and Patrick Kane plenty over the years in the Western Conference and Olympics and all of the stuff elite players do in the NHL. He was asked on a podcast what his advice would be to 19 and 88 if they called him to ask about being a one-team guy or being open to moving on. Getzlaf surprised me a little when he said moving on isn’t the worst thing in the world; he emotionally stayed in Anaheim and called it a career when many thought he might have some gas left in the tank.
  • On NHL Network television last night, guess what came up? Kane and Toews. Jackie Redmond asked Scott Hartnell what he thought the two would do, and he said both are leaving. Hartnell, of course, was on the Flyers team that lost to Kane and Toews in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final and also faced them plenty of times while with the Blue Jackets and Predators during a nice career.
  • You know who will probably know what either of Chicago’s future Hall of Famers is going to do before any of the rest of us? Their agent, Pat Brisson. Did you know he has five other clients on the Blackhawks’ payroll this year? If you weren’t aware, Brisson runs the money in the NHL; he is the power broker of power brokers.
  • If you were worried about the prospect of a young guy like Michigan center Adam Fantilli being the face of a franchise in the NHL or having enough fun to get fans engaged, I will cite this video for years:
  • My guy David Pagnotta at The Fourth Period reported yesterday that the Boston Bruins are interested in adding a defenseman to their roster before the trade deadline. A name not mentioned: Jake McCabe. Which is fine because if the Bruins are going to dance with some of the other headliners on blue lines around the NHL because every indication is that the market is still good for McCabe. If the Bruins take one of the other top players off the market, Chicago’s leverage increases.
  • This quote from Pagnotta’s rumor mill breakdown from Wednesday hits on a couple potentially big players in the market for help on defense:

You can remove Florida from the Jakob Chychrun sweepstakes as they are not willing to move the assets to make it happen. But as our Dennis Bernstein first reported over All-Star Weekend, keep an eye on Boston here.

  • Finally, and in case you didn’t understand my reference to a late-night trade to the Phoenix Suns, that’s what happened to Kevin Durant last night/this morning. And Eli was up with the coffee and popcorn and everything else just begging for a blockbuster at 2 AM CT…

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