Tag Archives: Brandon Saad

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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Hawks tie series, Survive Lightning Gm 4 Assault

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks drew even with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night, winning a breakneck-paced Game 4 by a score of 2-1. Brandon Saad potted the game-winner in the third period of a contest in which the Hawks absolutely had to prevail.

First Period-Ryan Callahan bounced a backhand attempt off of the chest of Corey Crawford a minute into the game after a giveaway by Brent Seabrook. A few seconds later, Nikita Kucherov just missed a tip-in attempt after another Hawks turnover. Cedric Paquette nearly had a chance on Crawford after another Chicago miscue in its own zone.

Chicago got set up in the offensive zone briefly in the fifth minute, though a Niklas Hjalmarsson attempt was knocked wide before it got to rookie goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. Going into the first media timeout seven minutes into the opening period, Tampa had carried most of the action to the Hawks, who had not logged a shot on goal. 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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On Carl Dahlstrom, and possible disconnect between Blackhawks management, pro and amateur scouting staffs

Dahlstrom_Carl_2015Apr18_Marlies_RFD_IceHogs          Carl Dahlstrom, photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs – April 18, 2015

Roughly half of the following piece first appeared in The Committed Indian program on May 21st. Also included here are quotes and further detail and analysis that didn’t fit into the first-run story.

By Chris Block

As great as the past seven or so years have gone for the Blackhawks, there are causes for concern as to whether or not the organization can sustain this reign of success going beyond yet another cap crunch that awaits Stan Bowman and company this summer.

Patrick Sharp’s days with the organization appear to be nearing an end due to the mammoth Toews and Kane contracts kicking in next season. And Marian Hossa may have only another year or two left in him before he retires. On the blue line, Brent Seabrook has one more year before he’s an unrestricted free agent. When that day comes, Seabrook will be a 31-year year old, 11-year NHL veteran.

Brandon Saad and Teuvo Teravainen are top-six talents who will help smooth that transition. Future Hall of Famers Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are so good the Hawks will always be a threat no matter what.

But what has separated the Blackhawks in their championship runs, as well as the near miss in 2014, is the team’s depth. A third and fourth line that matches or exceeds that of any of their conference and playoff rivals; as well as a top four defense that is as good as it gets in hockey. Whether the fourth guy was Brian Campbell or Johnny Oduya, it didn’t matter. The Hawks are filthy rich in elite defensemen with Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson leading the way. Read more »

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Vermette ends incredible Game 4 in 2OT

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Blackhawks Take Game 1 From Minny 4-3, Teuvo Pots Game-Winner

By Chris Block

The Blackhawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead after just 15 minutes of the first period in Game 1, Friday night at United Center.  Brandon Saad notched his third goal of postseason on an incredible power move and shot that he ripped by Devan Dubnyk at the 1:15 mark.  Patrick Kane and Marcus Kruger scored 124 seconds apart later in the period to give the Hawks command of the game.  Kane’s tally, also his 3rd of the playoffs, was set up by a great move (or, the $2M toe-drag, you could call it.) by Brad Richards entering the Wild zone.

But the Wild chipped away at the Hawks lead in the second period, and by the mid-way point of the second stanza, the game was tied 3-3.  Minnesota’s marksmen Jason Zucker, Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund all scored to even the score at 1:21, 5:07 and 9:30 of the second respectively.

Neither starter, Dubnyk nor Corey Crawford were pulled from the game.  Crawford stopped 30 of 33 shots.  Dubnyk allowed 4 goals against 35 Blackhawks’ shots on net.

Chicago’s 4th and deciding goal came off the stick of Teuvo Teravainen with 59 seconds to go in the second period.  The line of Antoine Vermette, Patrick Sharp and Teravainen were doing their work down in the Wild zone when Teravainen fired a puck toward the net from the half wall.  Dubnyk might have been partially screened for a moment but he just whiffed at it with his glove and the puck sailed by him and into the net at 19:01 of the second.

The score remained that way throughout the 3rd period, though Minnesota’s Dubnyk had to come up with 15 saves in the final period to keep his team in the game.

Crawford’s win gives him a 2-1 record now in this postseason.  Crawford is now 9-3 lifetime in postseason play versus Minnesota.

The Hawks are now 11-7 in Game 1’s under Joel Quenneville. They’ve gone on to win 9 of those 10 prior series in which they’ve won Game 1 under their current coach.

Game 2 is Sunday night at 7:30pm central on CBC and Sportsnet 360 in Canada and on NBCSports Network in the States.

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Seabrook blast ends Game 4 in Triple OT, Hawks take 3-1 series lead on Nashville

By Brad Vandenberk

There was a marathon at the United Center on Tuesday night as the Hawks found themselves beating the Nashville Predators in three overtimes, 3-2.

Chicago did not hold a single lead during the game, but still eventually found a way to win and take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Brandon Saad scored the tying goal with Antoine Vermette getting his first tally as a Blackhawk, tipping one past Rinne in the opening period, the first of six on Tuesday.

Shea Weber and Mike Fisher did not dress for this one, but you can be sure with their season on the line that they will try and play on Thursday night when the series shifts back to Nashville. Scott Darling and Pekka Rinne faced a ton of traffic and shots and lasted the entire 5 periods. Read more »

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Hawks take 2-1 series lead over Weber-less Preds

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks came back to the United Center Sunday afternoon and took a 2-1 series lead in their Western Conference quarterfinal with the Nashville Predators. Three second period tallies and a stronger defensive effort paved the way for a 4-2 Blackhawks triumph.

First Period-Nashville went to the power play in the opening minute when Kimmo Timonen held the stick of Taylor Beck. Marian Hossa led a shorthanded charge that was stopped by Predators goalie Pekka Rinne. The Blackhawks killed the penalty fairly easily.

Nashville’s first shot came off the stick of Beck in the fifth minute but the attempt was covered by Hawks goalie Scott Darling. The action was back and forth and the pace was brisk to say the least. Read more »

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Hawks wrap regular season in loss at Colorado

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks had a game to play in Colorado Saturday night. The Hawks playoff position was locked in earlier that afternoon when St. Louis beat Minnesota. Knowing that they would travel to Nashville to start the postseason, there was little reason for Chicago to put a lot of effort into beating the Avalanche.

The Blackhawks drew even late in the game only to surrender a late power play goal to lose their regular season finale 3-2. Since the Hawks were just running out the clock, I figured I’d let the 11-year-old handle the recap tonight. See you in a few paragraphs for some thoughts.

First Period-Some of the players took the ice, except Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith. Cody McLeod scored midway through the opening period. The Blackhawks and Avs went up and down the ice, trading scoring chance before and after this happened. Everyone played nice and there were no penalties. Read more »

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Johnny to the rescue, Hawks get by Sabres 4-3

By Michael Calvert

In a game where the Hawks could really use the win and the Sabres really could use a loss, this game wound up developing into a nail biter, go figure.

1st period: The Hawks jumped all over the Sabres to begin the game, as anticipated. Keith netted the first goal only 2:16 into the game on a slapper glove side with Bickell providing the screen.

The Hawks maintained pressure for the next few minutes and at around the 4:00 mark really started pouring it on. The Sabres managed to weather that storm keeping the score at 1-0.

At 8:36 in the first, Sharp put a beauty of a move on the Sabres hapless d man and beat Lindback with a nice wrister, at this point it’s 2-0 and looks as though the rout is on. Read more »

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