Söderblom Bounces Back, Kaner Sits, Coyotes Sue Phoenix, Wolves Going Solo, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Söderblom Bounces Back, Kaner Sits, Coyotes Sue Phoenix, Wolves Going Solo, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

It’s a big night for the future of the Blackhawks as an organization. Three young players will take part in the Frozen Four before the NHL squad visits the Vancouver Canucks. After a regulation win in Calgary on Tuesday, the Blackhawks are now third in the Bad for Bedard standings. Thankfully, they’ve already drafted Drew Commesso, Ryan Greene and Frank Nazar. Those three will skate in the NCAA semifinals in Tampa tonight. We’ve got your full breakdown and times/television here.

  • I enjoyed this piece by Ben Pope on Rockford goaltender Arvid Söderblom. Before the season started, I predicted he would lead the Blackhawks (in the NHL) in goaltender wins this season (I was wrong). Jaxson Stauber has spent more time in the NHL this season than Söderblom. But when called upon, Söderblom has been decent. Heading into restricted free agency this summer with the likelihood that the Blackhawks sign Drew Commesso, Söderblom is trying to earn a chance to run it back in Chicago in a possible tandem situation with Petr Mrazek (or someone else). After some tough times earlier this season, he’s been really good down the stretch.
  • The Seattle Thunderbirds, boasting three Blackhawks prospects, eliminated the Kelowna Rockets from the WHL playoffs last night. Why share the handshake line video from the losing side? Because they captured their former captain, Colton Dach, hugging it out with his former teammates. Dach was the captain in Kelowna before he was traded to Seattle following the World Juniors.
  • Chris Vosters isn’t going to take a lot of time off after the end of his first season as the lead play-by-play voice of the Blackhawks. He shared on Twitter that he’s going to do a little baseball this summer. According to the release he shared, Vosters will call the Cubs at Miami Marlins game on Sunday, April 30, at 11:05 AM CT and the Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Guardians game on Sunday, May 14, at 10:35 AM CT as part of the MLB Sunday Leadoff package on Peacock this season.
  • With the Rangers almost certainly secure in the No. 3 seed in the Metropolitan Division, it’s become maintenance season. And Patrick Kane was left out of the active lineup for the Blue Shirts last night against the Tampa Bay Lightning as he continues to keep his body right for the playoffs. I’ve already seen a couple Rangers blogs starting the “his hip isn’t okay!” talk and you know what — it might not be. But he’s been good for the Rangers and they probably aren’t catching the Devils so do the right thing.
  • On Wednesday, the OHL announced the 20 team nominees for the Red Tilson Trophy, their Most Outstanding Player during the 2022-23 regular season. The players are submitted by OHL member teams. Kingston nominated Blackhawks prospect Paul Ludwinski, who recently signed is entry-level contract with Chicago.
  • In the “what the sam hell is going on here?” category of news, the Arizona Coyotes — you know, the franchise that the NHL has been propping up for more than a decade through ownership changes, unpaid bills, relocations, evictions and cap circumventing trades — filed the following lawsuit against the city of Phoenix. The release reads like a bad joke, but here we are. Maybe the NHL should just find an actual owner for the franchise and move them to Houston so they can look and act like grown-ups like the rest of the league?
  • Scott Powers at The Athletic shared that the Chicago Wolves are going solo — they’re going to stick around the AHL, but without an NHL affiliation. This is a huge move for both the Wolves and the AHL. The league hasn’t had a member team play without an NHL affiliation agreement since the 1994-95 season. The Wolves, meanwhile, have won the Calder Cup three times since joining the league in 2001 but have bounced around with their affiliation over the past decade. And it appears their general manager, who has been in the role for 14 years, is done with his culture being dictated by an NHL front office.

“Within our affiliation, it says we will develop and also we want to win a Calder Cup,” Wolves GM Wendell Young told Powers. “I think the philosophy has changed, not our philosophy, but the philosophy has changed from up top. … It was all about development. And our philosophy, it’s in our affiliation, that says develop and win. We think by winning, we develop. That’s where we stand.

“Also, some organizations are development-only, but we think if we have development and win playoff games, guys learn how to win, which you’re trying to do all the time. That’s changed. It’s time to go independent and follow our own philosophy.”

  • Finally, the Bulls are now locked into the play-in round in the NBA’s postseason. Yeah, they’re backing in and don’t look great, but all you need is a chance… right?

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