Tag Archives: Brad Richards

Salary Cap and Reality of Off Season Now Set; A look at Blackhawks position and options

[As I noted on Twitter last week, our Summer Blackhawks prospect rankings, originally scheduled for release on Monday, will be delayed due to a family emergency that had me pulled away and out of town last week. I don’t want to commit to a new date just yet, but I am working on it. The draft has taken precedent now. Thanks to all who sent nice notes the past week. I was off the grid for the most part. To those I didn’t get back to, I do appreciate it.]

By Chris Block

Today will kick-off our draft week coverage with the requisite state of the Blackhawks roster business in the wake of the salary cap becoming official for next season.

The Blackhawks currently do not own a 1st round selection in the NHL Draft this Friday in Sunrise, Florida. Chicago occupies just 2 spots over the initial 120 picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. You can expect that to change between now and this weekend, with the Hawks eyeing picks in return for some currently rostered players. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the situation the Blackhawks are in now because of new contracts kicking in, others still to be hammered out and the salary cap being the primary enemy of the defending Stanley Cup Champs.

2015-16 Salary Cap Guidelines Set

NHL released its parameters for the 2015-16 salary cap on Tuesday in conjunction with the National Hockey League Players Association per terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The new “upper limit” is set at $71.4 million, up $2.4M from the 2014-15 season. Read more »

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Tampa’s 3rd period comeback at the UC gives Lightning a 2-1 series lead

By Brad Vandenberk

The Blackhawks found themselves lucky that they were able to get a split in Tampa Bay. The return to home ice on Monday where they are 7-1 in these playoffs was hopefully the spark that was required. The Bolts have been giving the Hawks fits with their speed. The Hawks do have their own knockout punch when it comes to their speed as well, but it seems like they have been on their heels for most of the game. There are 22,000 strong waiting to see their beloved Blackhawks at the UC during this Stanley Cup Final.

Ben Bishop did get the start in this one and limped his way to a 3-2 road win in the United Center which puts the Hawks playoff record to 7-2. It was a late goal with 3:11 left in the third period when Cedric Paquette beats Corey Crawford with a low snipe. There was no Cinderella story on this night as the Hawks fall 2-1 in the series giving up home ice advantage. Read more »

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Resilient Lightning Tie Series in Game 2

By Chris Block

The 2015 Stanley Cup Final is shifting to United Center in Chicago on Monday with the series tied 1-1 after Tampa Bay bested the Blackhawks 4-3 in front of 19,204 fans at Amalie Arena on Saturday night.

Andrew Shaw, Teuvo Teravainen and Brent Seabrook notched the visitor’s goals, but Tampa was able to put 4 past Corey Crawford, who made 20 saves in an effort Joel Quenneville characterized as “just okay.”

The Blackhawks entered the 3rd period of Game 2 as they did three nights prior in Game 1, trailing Tampa Bay by a goal. Saturday night was following a similar path as Wednesday’s series opener, with Chicago largely dominating the pace of the game in the final twenty minutes of regulation.

Brent Seabrook tied the game at 3:38 of the third when his blast from the top of the point blew by Ben Bishop’s glove hand. Seabrook’s 7th of the postseason put the score at 3-3, but was not without controversy. As the puck closed in on Bishop, Marian Hossa converged on Bishop’s crease as well. Hossa skated toward the crease with his stick pushing into Bishop’s left leg pad. It appeared to be a clear example of goaltender interference, whether intentional or not, but after a brief conversation among the officials, the goal was allowed to stand. Read more »

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Ducks Take 2-1 Series Lead Over Chicago, Beat Hawks 2-1 In Game 3

By Jon Fromi

After wresting home ice advantage from the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday night, the Chicago Blackhawks gave it right back to their Western Conference Final opponent. Thursday, Frederik Andersen and the Ducks came out and made a pair of goals stand up. Anaheim took a 2-1 series lead with a 2-1 Game 3 victory at the United Center.

First Period-The Hawks came out strong early, with Corey Perry making a sprawling play to prevent a scoring chance by Joakim Nordstrom. Corey Crawford had to make a quick stop at the 2:45 mark when Kyle Cumiskey’s pass was picked off by Jiri Sekac and sent to the net. Ryan Kesler took advantage of a muffed pass attempt by Brent Seabrook late in the fourth minute to make a beeline for Crawford. He couldn’t get the puck settled and the shot was wide.

Perry tripped Johnny Oduya 5:39 into the period to set up the man advantage. Chicago couldn’t convert and Kesler got a shot on goal as the penalty expired. Read more »

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Ducks take Game 1 in Anaheim 4-1

By Brad Vandenberk

Finally, after waiting 10 days, game one of the Western Conference Final was played at the Honda Center in beautiful Anaheim. The Hawks have been trying to stay in game shape after disposing of the Wild in 4 straight games. There was one more test that stood in their way to reaching the Stanley Cup and it was the Ducks. They came to play this afternoon, but it was the Ducks who took game one with a 4-1 victory. Brad Richards scored the lone goal for the Hawks with 39 seconds left in the second period. That would be all she wrote from there.

Corey Crawford and Frederik Andersen were in net for this one and Andersen looked sharp, absolutely robbing Patrick Kane on a wide open net. David Rundblad replaced Michel Rozsival who broke his ankle and will not be able to resume playing until next season. Rundblad was very noticeable but in a bad way, almost solely being responsible for 2 of the Ducks goals. Read more »

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Preds Narrow Series Gap in 5-2 Win in Nashville

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks had a chance to close out their Western Conference quarterfinal in Nashville Thursday night. Thanks to a hat trick by Filip Forsberg and a trio of Predator goals early in the third period, that didn’t happen.

Nashville broke open a tight affair and cruised to a 5-2 victory over Chicago. The Hawks still own a 3-2 series advantage but the Preds showed they have the resolve to extend the series to at least six games.

First Period-Patrick Sharp was the recipient of an ill-advised hit by Ryan Ellis, who was sent to the box for tripping 3:06 into the game. The Hawks had a few chances early in the power play, but Nashville wound up with possession for most of the second minute of the penalty. Read more »

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Hawks get a bounce, a late Toews goal and one huge win in Winnipeg

By Chris Block

It wasn’t pretty, but the Blackhawks survived a Jets onslaught and pulled out a huge win Sunday night in Winnipeg that may have solidified the Hawks a playoff spot.

The third period began with Winnipeg leading 3-2 after Dustin Byfuglien power play goal in the final minute of the second period gave the Jets their second lead of the night.

Patrick Sharp tied the contest at 6:27 of the third, pouncing on a loose puck and a breakaway from near center ice after Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom became entangled with linesman Don Henderson and lost his stick with Sharp in pursuit.

The Hawks then won the game with 31 seconds left in regulation after some cycling by the top line and a Jonathan Toews re-direct on a Niklas Hjalmarsson shot.  The goal was Toews’ 25th, which marks the 6th time in Toews’ eight year career that he’s scored 25 or more goals in a season. And in one of those seasons, the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, Toews posted 23 goals in 47 games played.

Byfuglien tallied two goals on Sunday, his 17th and 18th, against the Blackhawks organization that raised him.   Blake Wheeler potted his 25th of the season in short-handed fashion in the second period on a 3 on 2 break after Andrew Shaw took off for the bench on an ill-advised change. Read more »

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Richards tally wins game in return to Broadway

By Michael Calvert

A day after crushing the East’s 2nd place NY Islanders in Chicago, the Hawks took to Broadway to take on the Metropolitan division-leading NY Rangers.

Cam Talbot, who’s been exceptional in King Henrik’s absence, was again in goal for the Blueshirts. Scott Darling, who has been great in spot starts for the mighty Blackhawks, has been every bit his equal. Darling’s numbers suggest he’s been better.

Martin St. Louis was out for the Rangers Wednesday as he’s been shelved for 10-14 days with a “lower body injury”

On paper the first thing that really jumps out to me is how nice these forward lines look even without the greatness that is Patrick Kane. [See lines at bottom of this recap]

Duncan Keith played 27 + minutes in a game that Q deemed worth sitting Crawford, that’s somewhat interesting. I don’t disagree with resting Crow, but why is Timonen playing fewer than 8 minutes? Timonen skated 7:30 against the Rangers, fewest of any Blackhawks by nearly three full minutes.

In a game of near misses, it was the ex Ranger Brad Richards who broke the 0-0 tie in the 3rd, tallying the game’s lone goal in a 1-0 Blackhawks victory. Read more »

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Shaw, Richards snap out of funks, Blackhawks one goal better than Coyotes in Vermette’s return to Arizona; Dahlbeck talks Hawks tenure

By Chris Block

Blackhawks set off for their annual father and son’s trip this week.

Glendale, Arizona was the first stop for the Hawks as they visited a majority Blackhawks fan partisan crowd of 17,534 at Gila River Arena.

Andrew Shaw and Brad Richards ended two long goal scoring droughts and Corey Crawford was stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced in a 2-1 win over the NHL’s 3rd-worst team by record.

The game also marked Antoine Vermette’s return to Arizona for the first time since being traded to Chicago on March 2nd. The Coyotes got the Blackhawks’ first-round draft choice this coming June, and defenseman Klas Dahlbeck back in return for Vermette’s services. So, it was Dahlbeck’s first chance to perform against the team that drafted him 79th overall in the third round of the 2011 NHL Draft.

Dahlbeck is also on the Coyotes’ first penalty kill unit, a unit that had not surrendered a power play goal against in the four games since Dahlbeck joined their team. Read more »

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Odds and Saads: Notes on weekend, Sharp, Richards; Dylan Olsen MIA, Hayden’s suspension, the Stevie Moses sweepstakes and much more

By Chris Block

Big weekend starts tonight as both the Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs are in action twice this weekend.

Blackhawks host Colorado at the UC tonight. I’m on recap duty for this one so that should be fun.   The Boston Bruins then come to town on Sunday afternoon for what should be another entertaining game against a top Eastern Conference opponent, the third in eight days at home for the Hawks.

Rockford is in Cleveland this weekend for a two-game set Friday and Saturday against the Lake Erie Monsters, who are the Colorado Avalanche minor league affiliate. The IceHogs missed out on an opportunity to move back into first place in the MidWest division on Wednesday when they were shut-out at home by San Antonio, 4-0. The IceHogs were terrible in that game until the third period when they outshot San Antonio 20-5, but by then it was far too late. Later that night Milwaukee earned a point in an OT loss at Grand Rapids, so Milwaukee sits 2 points up on Rockford. Both teams have played 52 games at this point, though Milwaukee is idle tonight.

–I was absolutely crushed Sunday morning as I walked into the United Center and got the news that Steve Montador had passed away overnight.  Montador was 35.

I covered wrestling for many years and became good friends with guys who would go on to die at an early age or take their own life, but now that I’m a bit older, you get a different feeling when someone dies young whose just a shade younger than you.

I had the pleasure of covering Montador in Rockford and speaking with him in his time with the organization. He was just honest and passionate about the game when we spoke. He was just a great person. That’s all there really is to say.  Its sad that his career ended the way it did and again now that he’s gone.

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