Anderson Replacing Lafferty, Welcome Wyatt, Binnington Banned, and Other St. Patrick’s Day Blackhawks Bullets
Right out of the gate this morning — because it’s Friday and St. Patrick’s Day and the NCAA Tournament is on and we’re all going to bars for lunch and not working after noon — a very special Bleacher Nation announcement! We’re hosting an event at HVAC in Wrigleyville on Thursday, April 6 from 5-9 PM. There are going to be some special guests to take part in Q&As and live panels. Check out the Eventbrite and grab tickets while they’re still available!
- Because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, I looked back at guys named Patrick in the history of the Blackhawks. Kane and Sharpie were easy. But after that? You might be surprised at the lack of Patricks in the team’s history books. I was.
- Remember when the Blackhawks acquired a 26-year-old forward from the Penguins who struggled to crack a loaded NHL lineup? Sam Lafferty took advantage of his opportunity in Chicago and established himself as a valuable NHL player. He scored 15 goals in 97 games with the Hawks and played with speed and showed both versatility and defensive responsibility that made him a guy the Leafs (and a few other teams) wanted at the trade deadline. Who did the Blackhawks get from Toronto in the Lafferty/McCabe trade? Joey Anderson — whose profile in Toronto is very similar to Lafferty’s in Pittsburgh. And the 24-year-old now has five points in his first 10 games for the Blackhawks in a comparable opportunity to the one Lafferty was afforded.
- Alex Stalock apparently made a little history on Thursday night. Ben Pope did the great work getting this confirmed. And, for what it’s worth, those are three pretty impressive players to stop in a penalty shot situation.
- Before Thursday night’s game in Nashville the Blackhawks announced Cole Guttman underwent successful right shoulder stabilization surgery and “will be out of hockey activities for approximately four months.” (counts on finger…) He should be ready to return for training camp in September, which is great.
- Welcome to the Blackhawks, Wyatt Kaiser! He’ll make his NHL debut at some point on this road trip. What a wild week it’s undoubtedly been for the 20-year-old defensman.
- Scott Powers over at The Athletic wrote a nice profile on newly signed Blackhawks (for now, IceHogs) forward and former Notre Dame junior Ryder Rolston. As Powers points out in his first paragraph — and I’ve written about for almost a full year — the one thing the Blackhawks are looking for in almost every addition to the roster and pipeline is speed. And Rolston’s got wheels. Here’s a great quote from Blackhawks assistant general manager of player development Mark Eaton in the story:
“Without a doubt,” Eaton told Powers. “The speed element is first and foremost with him. You look at guys that have come through and been with Chicago the last couple of years that are kind of speed-first guys in (Sam) Lafferty, (Andreas) Athanasiou. I put him in that mold. The kind of effect Lafferty, just make it hard on opposing forwards, create havoc on the forecheck be a good penalty killer. So I think that speed element, and then, of course, the competitive nature, that character element, is there with Ryder as well. So, you put those two together, and that’s exactly the type of players I think we’re looking for to get in here and start building.”
- I ran a Twitter poll today that might interest you if you’re a Chicago sports fan at large. I got into a lengthy conversation with a couple buddies about the best Chicago team in the last 40 years that didn’t win a championship. There were a few other teams that we discussed, but the primary four we argued about were these four. What say you? Go ahead and vote on Twitter!
- The Wild had a mic on their goaltender when the future Hall of Famer offered to turn on the dance music with the clown show in St. Louis on Wednesday night. If you didn’t already love the heck out of Marc-André Fleury before, this audio will make you smile. What an absolute gem!
- Binnington had a conversation with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Thursday, likely because this is far from the first time he’s pulled this clown act this season. The result: he gets two games off to consider a tiny car to go with his big shoes and red nose.
- The Panthers beat the Canadiens 9-5 last night in one of the most ridiculously amazing displays of offense ever. The game had an NFL score (7-3) only 13:18 into the first period!
- Finally, the Bears have been doing some really tremendous work in free agency. If you aren’t following our Bears coverage on the Twitters yet, do yourself a favor and give them a follow now well before the draft. And yes, I’m one of those whose fantasy team benefitted from D’Onta Foreman last year.