HUGE Hockey Saturday, Toews' Workload, Fantilli Honored, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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HUGE Hockey Saturday, Toews’ Workload, Fantilli Honored, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Today is an historic day in the NHL. For the first time in the history of the league, there are 16 games on the schedule — all 32 teams are in action today! Throw into that mix the NCAA championship game between top-ranked Minnesota and Quinnipiac, and this stacks up to be an incredible day on ice. The Blackhawks are in Seattle for one of the final games of a long day of puck.

  • You may have noticed the ice time for Jonathan Toews spike to more than 18 minutes in Vancouver. The Captain has been looking and playing more like what we’ve come to consider “himself” as he gets into more games. On Friday, Ben Pope reported Toews plans on appearing in all four of the Blackhawks’ remaining games.
  • According to a report on Friday, the Blackhawks have developed an internal app for coaches and the front office to use that tracks data collected from prospects and NHL skaters alike. We looked at some of the information and how the Blackhawks are still trying to determine how and what they track… and what it means to their rebuild plans.
  • The Blackhawks host Minnesota on Monday night. They announced Joel Eriksson Ek is week-to-week on Friday morning, but then slid a nice nod to Michael Jordan’s un-retirement into a release later. Kirill Kaprisov will apparently be active for the game.
  • On Friday night, University of Michigan freshman center and likely No. 2 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft Adam Fantilli won the Hobey Baker Award as the nation’s top college player. He’s a stud; you’ve been reading a lot about him here this season because if the Blackhawks don’t land the top pick (Connor Bedard) this young man is going to be one helluva consolation prize.
  • One of Fantilli’s teammates will not be back in Ann Arbor next year. As expected, Luke Hughes signed his entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils on Saturday morning. He’ll join his brother, Jack, in the Devils’ lineup as they get ready for the playoffs.
  • Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz appeared on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” on Fox Business on Thursday and discussed the recent mayoral election in Chicago.

“Crime is something we have to be careful [about] because we want people to come into the United Center,” Wirtz said. “That’s where the Bulls and Blackhawks play. And our partner, [Chairperson of the Chicago Bulls] Jerry Reinsdorf, we both own a piece of the building. And the important thing is that we want fans to feel comfortable coming to our building and how we can do that.”

  • I do love it when a photographer nails it, and will never stop being amazed at how well some artists capture moments so quickly and so perfectly. And this grab of Alex Stalock‘s ridiculous save on Thursday night is *chef’s kiss.*
  • In CHL playoff action, Gavin Hayes had two assists for Flint as they were able to survive and force a Game 6 against Saginaw. Flint is down 3-2 in the series.
  • Samuel Savoie scored a goal last night as Gatineau eliminated Saint John and advanced to the second round of the QMJHL playoffs.
  • Finally, because we have to wait until May 8 to know where the Blackhawks will pick early in the 2023 NHL Draft, we can’t start buying jerseys quite yet. But the NFL Draft is just a couple short weeks away and the Bears are sitting at the No. 9 pick after trading down. They keep signing quality players, and Luis looked at how their spending could influence their draft board.

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