Here’s the roster the Blackhawks will travel to Saskatoon with tomorrow for the first preseason game against the Oilers. This info has been relayed from today’s practice sessions by Jesse Rogers and Chris Kuc on their respective Twitter accounts.
The Blackhawks couldn’t resist the temptation, both Toews brothers will suit up. Ray Emery and Alexander Salak will be the goaltenders. I imagine they’ll split the time some how, but that isn’t clear. Making their unofficial pro debuts are 2011 draft picks Mark McNeill, Brandon Saad and Phillip Danault.
Emery, Rostislav Olesz, Jamal Mayers, Sami Lepisto and Steve Montador see their first real game action as members of the Blackhawks organization.
These are not the lines. Those should be released on the Hawks’ main site sometime Tuesday afternoon.
Rostislav Olesz – Jonathan Toews – Ben Smith
Viktor Stalberg – Marcus Kruger – Jimmy Hayes
Brandon Saad – Phillip Danault – Jamal Mayers
Kyle Beach – Mark McNeill – David Toews
Sami Lepisto – Nick Leddy
Ryan Stanton – Steve Montador
Joe Lavin – Brian Fahey (AHL contract)
-As you can see, someone will have to sit out. I’d expect John Scott to play. It is noteworthy though when you look at whose going. Just the other day it was reported that Joel Quenneville and the Blackhawks have told Scott to concentrate on defense. Here, we can see he’s cleverly placed as the emergency forward in lieu of a late scratch.
-Thinking back ten days to the David Toews acquisition – I can’t help but recall Stan Bowman, according to Toews himself, asserting the team wasn’t doing his older brother and Hawks’ Captain any favors by picking up his younger brother and giving him a new opportunity.
David Toews does not have a contract, that we know of, with the Blackhawks. They acquired his rights on September 9th and presumably he’s here to win a spot on the 50-man or a minor league deal in Rockford. Here we see David Toews, who is not a realistic NHL prospect at this stage, getting prime, coveted preseason game ice time ahead of signed and better current organizational prospects such as Rob Klinkhammer, Philippe Paradis, Rob Flick, Mirko Hoefflin, Chris DiDomenico et al. Favors are different from an organization trying to capture supplemental intrigue and September spotlight; the easy headlines locally, across Canada and on NHL.com. In the big picture, David Toews getting 10 minutes of exhibition action in the preseason opener won’t mean much. But to another more deserving prospect at this stage, it’s a raw deal.
–A rarity in the NHL – the Edmonton Oilers have two preseason games schedule Tuesday night. So the Blackhawks will face a split squad makeup in Saskatoon, while the rest of the Oilers host the Minnesota Wild at Rexall Place in Edmonton.
We don’t have an official roster for Edmonton (I’ll post it here when it becomes available) but Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi and Linus Omark are staying home to face the Wild.
[update] Here’s what we know for sure tonight according to a published report by the Edmonton Journal.
Oilers will bring a first line of 2011 Draft first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, centering for reacquired veteran Ryan Smyth and right winger Jordan Eberle.
–Tomorrow’s Oilers-Hawks game will be played at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon. Legendary rockers Pearl Jam play the facility tonight. If you’re in Chicago, the only place you can watch the game is at ChicagoBlackhawks.com. I’d anticipate plenty of upload and buffering issues. And the Hawks will spin that into a story about how passionate and enthusiastic their fans are of course.