The saga of Dustin Byfuglien’s August 31 boating DWI on a Minnesota lake is nearly a month old and its still churning out little nuggets seemingly by the day.
Now a police report released Tuesday says Byfuglien’s breathalyzer count was .03, well under the legal limit of .08 in Minnesota, but they still suspected the burly blue liner of being impaired by drugs due to slurred speech and an inability to pass a field sobriety test. Byfuglien admitted to having 2 or 3 glasses of wine at dinner, which he and his party were traveling from at the time they were stopped by police. Noted in the police report was the presence of a brown stain on Byfuglien’s tongue. Byfuglien was stopped by police at a Lake Minnetonka check point because he did not have proper lights on his boat, according to a Winnipeg Free Press report. Read more
Patrick Sharp underwent emergency appendectomy surgery on Monday evening.
“Patrick Sharp underwent an emergent surgical appendectomy this evening after experiencing some abnormal abdominal discomfort,” Blackhawks head physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a team statement released Monday night. “The surgery was successful and I anticipate a full recovery in approximately three to four weeks.”
Based on prior instances across sports, a more likely timetable for an athlete of Sharp’s stature is 2-3 weeks. Four weeks would push Sharp’s return beyond the Blackhawks opening weekend match ups with the Stars as four weeks from the time of surgery is October 10.
Sharp will be fine. This development does open the door for increased reps and exhibition game action for the likes of Viktor Stalberg, Rostislav Olesz, Ben Smith, Marcus Kruger, Brandon Segal, Brett McLean and others. Read more
Blackhawks acquired the rights to Jonathan Toews’ younger brother on Friday.
David Toews arrives via the New York Islanders in exchange for future considerations.
It should be noted that David Toews did not have a pro contract with the Islanders and so far the Blackhawks have not tendered him one either.
David Toews is turning pro after completing his amateur career in the Western Hockey League this past spring. He has joined Blackhawks’ prospects in Oshawa this weekend for the four-day round-robin rookie tournament. Like his brother, David is a centerman.
“Stan Bowman called me and wanted me to know that they weren’t trying to do Johnny any favors,” David Toews told the Free Press. “(Bowman) said he liked me as a player and they’re pretty familiar with me because I’ve been training in Chicago all summer.”
David Toews, 21, was drafted by the Islanders in 2008, 66th overall in the third round. He followed in his older brother’s footsteps attending North Dakota for two years but struggled for ice time and left following his sophomore season. Toews joined the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) last season and as an overager scored 20 goals and 28 assists in 60 regular season games. Read more
Posted in News and Notes, Prospects
Tagged Bryan Muir, Chris Campoli, David Toews, Fernando Pisani, Jonathan Toews, Kent Simpson, Kyle Wellwood, Lorne Molleken, Marty Turco, Matt Ellison, Patrick Kane, Paul Zanette, Ryan Flinn, Ryan Johnson
Brad Gardner’s latest ranking of the top 20 Blackhawks prospects is up now at HockeysFuture.com
This was yesterday’s huge news story. When Patrick Kane says he’ll be ready for opening night, would that not logically then indicate he’ll also be healthy and able to participate in some training camp activity, even a preseason game or two? Kane went on a Toronto radio station Tuesday and was non-committal on the status of his recovery from wrist surgery. Still, Kane is confident he’ll be good in time for the season opener. I know its August, but to me this is a lot of unnecessary commotion over what will likely amount to a week of missed camp. It was obvious from the moment that interview concluded this would blow up. Whatever Kane does is going to be news. He’s that big a star. However, it is amazing Kane would be so cloudy on his state of return just 24 hours after his general manager was emphatic Kane is fine and on schedule for the start of training camp. And that’s why this blew up. Kane used to live in Stan Bowman’s basement and he is a franchise player, you’d figure these guys would be on the same page. I wouldn’t put any heat on Kane for this. Its his body and the team’s timeline seemed convenient to begin with. But this is a fuss over what could simply amount to seven days. Still, is appears the Hawks shifted into damage control last night.
–Marcus Kruger will be in Toronto on Tuesday, August 30 to be one of 27 NHL rookies presented in the NHLPA’s 2011 Rookie Showcase. Kruger and his six Blackhawks teammates wrap up the week of practice sessions in Lugano, Switzerland on Sunday. He’ll then head straight to Toronto. Tuesday is mostly a media showcase, interview and photography session.
–It was pointed out to me that Lugano head coach Barry Smith is still technically employed by the Hawks as a European talent adviser. Smith was a pro scout with the Hawks last year. He was Scotty Bowman’s assistant while with the Red Wings.
–New Blackhawk Andrew Brunette turns 38 today…. Roland “Alain” Daigle is 57. This Three Rivers, Quebec native spent six seasons (74-80) on right wing with the Blackhawks. They drafted him 34th overall in ’74. He retired in 1984 after stops in Europe and the AHL. The Hawks were the only NHL team he ever played for…. They share the day Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (24)….
–Former prospect and Hawks’ 2005 6th round pick Joe Charlebois has signed with the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL).
–I’ll have much more tonight/tomorrow morning.
–We have a podcast scheduled for Monday night at 6pm with Al Cimaglia.
Stan Mikita feeling good in spite of cancer battle [Brian Hedger, NHL.com]
Mikita meets his doctors in ten days to find out where he’s at with his Stage 1 oral cancer.
“I’m looking for very favorable comments from him (the doctor),” Mikita told Hedger. “The treatments went well. It wasn’t really bad for me. It’s been coming along real well.”
–More from Hedger’s Blackhawks’ notebook – Stuff on Marian Hossa’s math, Patrick Kane’s on-time wrist recovery and David Bolland loving Daniel Carcillo.
Video of Mikita speaking to media at Monday’s Blackhawks Alumni golf event at Medinah Country Club. [CSN Chicago] Comments from an antsy Bolland and Stan Bowman as well in that clip.
–Assistant general manager Marc Bergevin in an interview on a Toronto radio station Monday, talked about this summer’s roster shakeup, the addition of what Bergevin termed, “personality” to the team’s core roster.
“We felt we are skilled enough to get us into the playoffs. We just need the character to get us through the playoffs,” Bergevin explained.
“And that’s what we had when we did win. Then we lost guys like Ladd, Byfuglien, and Versteeg and Sopel. Guys who were warriors, that did the little things to make the other team accountable. They made the other team realize ‘this is going to be a battle tonight.’ That’s what it takes to win a Stanley Cup.
“You can’t win with twelve skilled forwards and six skilled defensemen, because there is dirty work that needs to be done and there are only certain players that are willing to do that.” he concluded. Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Alexei Yashin, Brent Sopel, Bryan Berard, Chris Campoli, Dave Scatchard, David Koci, Duane Sutter, Ethan Moreau, Fernando Pisani, Igor Radulov, Jason Strudwick, Jim McKellar, Justin Hodgman, Kent Simpson, Marc Bergevin, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Stan Bowman, Stan Mikita, Ted Dent, Third jerseys, Tim Keon
Training camp begins almost a month early this week, and overseas, for a handful of Chicago Blackhawks players.
The Blackhawks have sent seven of their own over to Switzerland this week to participate in the final preseason preparations for Swiss NLA club HC Lugano’s upcoming season.
The players will spend a week in Switzerland training with Lugano.
How did this all come about? Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Alexei Yashin, Barry Smith, Dylan Olsen, HC Lugano, Jeremy Morin, Jimmy Hayes, John Scott, Marcus Kruger, Mats Hallin, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Scotty Bowman, Training camp, Viktor Stalberg
As a follow up to Igor Makarov signing with St. Petersburg (KHL), it appears the Blackhawks did execute a contractual release of the one-remaining year on his entry-level deal. That means Makarov is off the 50-man roster. In the Russian interview we cited in Friday’s story, Makarov said the Hawks released him and that claim now lines up. His name has now been removed from the team’s web site.
–All remaining regular season Blackhawks tickets go on sale Monday morning at 10am central via Ticketmaster. Standing room is now $27. First seven rows of the top level will cost $72 or $90 (60-72 if your seats are behind netting) depending on the opponent. To sit eleven rows off the ice on the weekend or against an Original Six or rivalry opponent now costs you $200. And you thought trading Brian Campbell would save us money….
–Free agent Chris Campoli says he has “a few irons in the fire.” [Toronto Star]
“There is interest,’ Campoli told the Star. “I have to stay positive.” Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Alexander Salak, Blackhawks tickets, Bobby Hull, Brent Sopel, Chris Campoli, Eddie Olczyk, Ethan Moreau, Fernando Pisani, Gary Suter, Igor Makarov, Jeremy Roenick, Joanne Hull, Johan Mattsson, Jonathan Toews, Justin Hodgman, Paul Goodman, Ray Emery, Richard Peddie, Rick Rypien, Sami Lepisto, Stan Bowman, Steve Montador
On Wednesday, Sports Daily in Russia reported SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL in Russia had signed Blackhawks prospect Igor Makarov to a new three-year contract.
This move comes with one year remaining on Makarov’s existing two-year NHL agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Makarov, who will turn 24 next month, was a Blackhawks 2nd round pick (#33 overall) in the 2006 draft out of Russia’s tier-2 professional league. While he attended some summer prospect and fall training camps in Chicago, Makarov did not make his official North American hockey debut until last season.
In 68 games with Rockford in 2010-11, Makarov posted 11 goals and 13 assists.
SKA is currently in Switzerland competing in a preseason tournament. Makarov is now in St. Petersburg and will join his teammates after they return for a practice this coming Monday. An official announcement of Makarov’s signing will probably come from SKA then. Read more
The American Hockey League was finally able to release their 2011-12 regular season schedule on Thursday, exactly fifty days prior to the league’s official opener, October 7th.
Rockford will open its season on Saturday night, October 8th versus the Grand Rapids Griffins at the formerly-named MetroCentre, now the BMO Harris Bank Center.
The next day the IceHogs play their first road game at Peoria. That October 9th contest against the Rivermen begins a four-game road trip continuing with two games in Abbotsford on Oct 14 and 16. After five days off, the IceHogs make their first trip to Allstate Arena in Rosemont for the ’11-12 seasons’ initial meeting with the Chicago Wolves, brand new affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks.
In all, the IceHogs and Wolves meet twelve times during the new campaign. In a weird twist, the Hogs-Wolves season series will be complete by Feb 26th. The rivals will meet on back-to-back days on three separate occasions: Oct 21-22, Jan 20-21 and Feb 10-11 (both of these games are in Rockford). Read more
Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times has a quick Q&A with Dan Carcillo here.
Jahns asked Carcillo to describe himself away from the ice. Carcillo said what pretty much every one of his former teammates will say, and its that he’s “pretty much the exact opposite.” (Opposite, that is, of a loose cannon. My words)
Carcillo: “If something irks me or gets me upset, I usually take it out on the ice.”
That explains a lot.
–Former Blackhawk goaltender Jimmy Waite is the new goaltending coach for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL). Waite is the younger brother of current Blackhawks’ goaltending coach Stephane Waite. Jimmy, who is now 42, continued his playing career in Europe until retiring at age 40. He returns to coach the team he played junior hockey with, the same Chicoutimi organization Waite was playing for when the Hawks drafted him 8th overall in 1987 NHL Draft. The president of the current day Sagueneens is Guy Carbonneau.
–Apparently there is a site in Europe pushing a rumor saying David Aebischer will be traded to Fribourg-Gotteron soon and Cristobal Huet is out attributing me as the source. That’s not even close to what I wrote.
–The Maple Leafs revealed their roster for the round-robin rookie camp tournament taking place September 10 – 13 in Oshawa. The Blackhawks, Senators and Penguins are the other teams involved.
–Jeremy Roenick reenacts famous “Swingers” scene. [Yahoo!]
–For those who missed our note the other day, yesterday, August 16, marked the 15-year anniversary of the trade that sent Jeremy Roenick to Phoenix for Alexei Zhamnov. Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Abbotsford, Adam Proteau, Alexei Zhamnov, Andre Deveaux, Andy Bohmbach, Bill Wirtz, Chico Maki, Cristobal Huet, Daniel Carcillo, Hockeenight, IceCaps, IceHogs, Jeremy Roenick, Jimmy Waite, Judd Blackwater, Maple Leafs, Matt Prefontaine, Mike Hedden, Nelson Emerson, Paul Coffey, Swingers, Troy Brouwer, Wayne Maki, Wolves