Quiet Bedard, Russian Players Coming & Going, Stamkos, Celebrini, Lindstrom, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Canada needed overtime again to stay undefeated in pool play at the World Championship, but Connor Bedard was a non-factor for a fourth straight game. In fact, he only skated eight minutes in Tuesday morning’s win. I appreciate that it’s been a long season for the 18-year-old and this has been a physical tournament, but he had five points in their first three games. Maybe they’re giving him a little rest before the knockout stage? We’ll see. Here are the quarterfinal matchups at the World Championship:

  • According to a report from Sport-Express’ Arthur Khayrullin it appears now-former Blackhawks defenseman Nikita Zaitsev is leaving the NHL and returning home to a multi-year deal in the KHL. The plot twist: he’s reportedly signing with SKA St. Petersburg — the club that owns the rights to, you guessed it, Ivan Demidov.
  • While we’re talking Russian players/prospects — specifically players with SKA St. Petersburg — here’s another intriguing note: their captain, Alexander Nikishin, is reportedly in the mix to come over from Russia this summer and join the Carolina Hurricanes. That would certainly help them move from Martin Nečas if that becomes a reality. The final two sentences from Canes GM Don Waddell (in the tweet below) are interesting:
  • We’re hoping something, one way or another, within the next 3-4 weeks, before the draft, we’ll have a good feeling whether he’s coming or not… One way or another, we’ll probably get him signed and whether he’s got a commitment or not to stay there or not, that’s what we’ve got to work out yet.”

  • If you hadn’t heard, Macklin Celebrini’s dad works for the Golden State Warriors. And he’s developed a relationship with a few people in that organization, including Draymond Green. He was asked about Celebrini’s game and had a few things to say.
  • The Blackhawks won’t get Celebrini. They might take Demidov. But one of the other names that’s been tossed around (including by yours truly) in mock drafts and with the Blackhawks has been center Cayden Lindstrom. Scott Wheeler provided a good health update on the power forward on Tuesday afternoon.
  • Hey! Did you read our latest two-round mock draft yet?
  • We got a rare May trade in the NHL on Tuesday afternoon. Tampa flexed more than half of their cap space for the coming summer to bring back veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh for two years. Which is fascinating because they now have less than $6 million in available cap space to figure something out with Steven Stamkos, among other internal free agents. Of course David Pagnotta at The Fourth Period reported after the trade that talks had started between Stamkos and the only team he’s ever played for.
  • I wonder if Tyler Johnson heads back to Tampa if the Bolts are trying to get the band back together… he’s still incredibly close with a lot of the guys on the roster down there.
  • The Ottawa Senators announced Rob DiMaio will be their director of scouting. He spent a long time in the same capacity with the St. Louis Blues and helped build their team that won a championship. More recently, DeMaio was an assistant GM of the Anaheim Ducks and served as the GM of their AHL affiliate. Good to have him in the Eastern Conference.
  • I once again took part in the postseason predictions with some fun folks over at The Fourth Period. Feel free to jump into the comments here and let me know who you’re taking in the Stanley Cup Final.
  • Finally, Angel Reese is a fantastic basketball player. And most of the media loves her. And she’s got style. Now, she has… employees… well, sort of. Reese invested in the new professional women’s soccer team in Washington DC. So apparently we can add business savvy to her resume as well.
  • written by

    Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

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