Keith and Seabrook Are Hall of Famers, the ‘Cat Comes Back, Notre Dame Eliminated, and Other Blackhawks Bullets
How anticlimactic will the welcome back video for Alex DeBrincat be tonight? No 88 waiting for him with a hug. Heck, more than half of the roster he played with here last year is now gone. And an 8 PM CT start on a Monday after the trade deadline just lines up for this one to be less than ideal for the Cat’s return.
- Two Blackhawks icons are going into the Hall of Fame together. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook will be inducted together into the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame this coming July. Also being inducted into the BC Hockey HOF this summer: the 2007 Memorial Cup champion Vancouver Giants in the team category, former NHL official Lonnie Cameron and Ronnie Patterson in the builder category.
- On Dec. 11, 2018, Keith and Seabs became the first pair of defensemen to appear in 1,000 regular season games together in NHL history. So it’s fitting that they will now enter at least one Hall of Fame together. At some point 2 and 7 might be teammates in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto as well.
- Since we’ve had our fun at times with some all-time statistics in the history of the Blackhawks and the NHL — some serious, some not. Unfortunately, with Jonathan Toews out sick and Patrick Kane now a Ranger, there really aren’t any big numbers for Blackhawks players to chase. However, I want to take a moment to appreciate Connor Murphy. He will appear in his 356th career game for the Blackhawks tonight, which will tie him with Eric Weinrich for 21st all-time among defensemen in Chicago franchise history.
- Murphy and Seth Jones are now the active leaders in career point production with the franchise as well. And they’re tied with a former No. 3 overall pick on the all-time list.
- With Ottawa coming into town tonight, I thought this was a pretty cool moment from Saturday night. It’s crazy to think that Chychrun sat out for the majority of the month of February waiting for a trade. For his grandfather to get this kind of response from him is pretty special.
- As a point of reminding: the Blackhawks received the 7th and 39th overall picks in the 2022 NHL Draft from the Senators for DeBrincat. Those picks were used on defenseman Kevin Korchinski and forward Paul Ludwinski.
- The good news with the hot Senators coming into town is the Blackhawks remain second in the Bad for Bedard Sweepstakes.
- Something I noticed at the game on Thursday night that surprised me: according to the in-game data they flash across the scoreboard at the United Center, Andreas was the fastest skater in the game against Dallas for the Blackhawks. But not Andreas Athanasiou. Andreas Englund reached the top speed for a Blackhawks’ skater. He’s been a fast, physical player in his early work for the Blackhawks. And head coach Luke Richardson talked about his approach after the loss on Saturday night.
- In college action, Michigan State eliminated Notre Dame from the Big Ten men’s conference tournament. This means Landon Slaggert‘s season is over… and now we wait to see if he turns pro. I hope he does because I’ve liked his game since the Blackhawks drafted him and I think he would be a nice addition to the NHL or AHL roster down the stretch.
- Want a rivalry series with seasons on the line? Ohio State sent Penn State packing on Sunday and advances to face Michigan starting this weekend in Ann Arbor. Blackhawks prospect Jake Wise had one assist in the 3-1 win on Sunday. Frank Nazar will be waiting for Wise with his Wolverine teammates on Saturday night.
- Ben Pope at the Chicago Sun-Times took some time to consider how language can help a player get more comfortable. Did you know Philipp Kurashev speaks Russian, French, German and English? He grew up in Switzerland, so he’s been able to speak German with Lukas Reichel.
“It helps me,” Kurashev told Pope. “If we have some international guys on the team, we can have a connection like that. That’s just how I grew up: in a Russian family in Switzerland, [where it’s] German and French. And English comes from playing here. I guess it’s cool, but it’s normal for me.”
- Finally, NFL spending starts to get interesting soon. The Bears have the most cap space in the NFL — they also own the No. 1 overall pick in this spring’s draft. So this could be a dramatic start to the baseball season at Halas Hall…
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