Tag Archives: Kris Versteeg

No movement from Hawks on Day One; Names to keep an eye on for Day Two of NHL Draft

By Chris Block

Friday evening’s opening round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft came and went without any involvement from the Chicago Blackhawks.

The anticipated trade of Patrick Sharp did not materialize as of late Friday, and general manager Stan Bowman was unable to move any other contracts, with Bryan Bickell and Kris Versteeg being the names prominently being floated as on the block.

Bowman and company were also unable to maneuver their way into a first round pick. The Arizona Coyotes used the pick they obtained from the Blackhawks in the Antoine Vermette trade to select Kelowna’s Nick Merkley, a 5’10” playmaking center who plays on the gritty size and was seen as a mid first round pick by most draft services.

There was a lot of movement up and down the first round board. Boston made the biggest headlines of the day swinging separate deals with Calgary and Los Angeles so that the Bruins wound up with the #13, #14 and #15 picks on Friday. Boston sent restricted free agent Dougie Hamilton to the Flames for the #15 pick, the #45 and #52. The Bruins then sent fan favorite Milan Lucic to the Kings in exchange for the #13 pick, goalie Martin Jones and minor league defenseman Colin Miller.

Ottawa traded goaltender Robin Lehner and center David Legwand to Buffalo in exchange for the 21st pick, which the Sens used to take center Colin White of the US National Development Team. White is headed to Boston College and regularly draws comparisons to Patrick Bergeron. White grew up in Boston and is a B’s fan. Read more »

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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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Blackhawks One Win From Stanley Cup Following 2-1 Victory In Game 5

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks wrested control of their Stanley Cup Final from the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night. A strong defensive effort, paired with opportunistic goals by Patrick Sharp and Antoine Vermette, resulted in a 2-1 Blackhawks triumph in Game 5.

The Hawks bring a 3-2 series lead into Chicago Monday night as they attempt to finish the series on home ice. It was far from easy; for the fifth time in as many games, the margin of victory was a single goal.

First Period-It was the Blackhawks who came out on the attack in the opening minutes. Brandon Saad got a couple of shots to Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop. The Lightning returned fire with an odd-man rush late in the second minute, though Victor Hedman’s centering attempt was broken up. The Hawks blitzed Bishop with a few pucks from the fourth line of Andrew Desjardins, Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw. The Lightning countered with a strong shift in the fifth minute. Read more »

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Setting Forth: Blackhawks Weather the Lightning, Stun Tampa Late to Take 1-0 Series Lead

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks stunned the full house at Amalie Arena in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night. The host Tampa Bay Lightning came out smoking and led for the bulk of the game. However, a pair of late Chicago goals shocked the Lightning, who fell to the Blackhawks 2-1.

Teuvo Teravainen was the catalyst for the third-period comeback, scoring the tying goal and creating the chance for the game-winner with a strong back check. Corey Crawford was outstanding in net, keeping Chicago close until the Hawks could strike behind the heroics of Teravainen.

First Period-The Hawks iced the puck shortly after the opening faceoff. Tampa Bay took advantage, going on the attack. By the time Chicago was called for another icing early in the fourth minute, the Lightning had four shots on net. 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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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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Lindbloom’s View: Forks in the Road to Stanley

Lindbloom_ForksRoadRoads and Roads

“Walking down that lonesome road
Fly with me on fire,
Lookin’ for that windy place
Searchin’ ever higher.
High upon a mountain top
Fortress thick and bonded,
Thoughts about a brighter day together in the sun.” – Jorma Kaukonen

By Rich Lindbloom

So it is, the Blackhawks begin their assault on the Mount Stanley, on the road against the hated Nashville Predators. (Actually, there’s never been a lot of hate between these two teams – but with it being playoff season and all it’s time to ratchet up the antipathy!) The truth of the matter is there are no easy roads to eventually hoisting the Cup. That road is littered with potholes, speed bumps, detours and bad calls by the refs. As Al Michaels so brilliantly noted, get ready “to die a thousand deaths” Hawk fans.  Hell, even making the playoffs is an arduous process; seldom is that road a straight line! Whoever will be left standing, “high upon a mountain top,” at the end of the long and winding road, will not be playing on cruise control. As my dad used to say before all eleven of us would pile into the Chrysler station wagon, make sure you go to the bathroom before we leave, because we’re not stopping! (i.e. they’ll be no stopping to visit Mrs. Murphy) Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: On Questions and Gimmees

Lindbloom_1_20150328

By Rich Lindbloom

The gimmee in golf is often described as an uneasy agreement between hackers who have no clue what to do when grasping the magic wand. Many golfers take issue with this stroke shaving device, calling it a blatant bastardization of the rules of golf. They would claim you’re making a mockery of the game. I suppose it is hard to honestly say you shot an 89 if you’ve “picked up” 3 or 4, two footers in a round. Always with the caveat of course that you’re just trying to speed up play or you “know” you could make it.

Some golfers feel no compunction when given the opportunity to avoid stressing over a putt that is often times “outside the leather.” My friend Ken could drive the ball a country mile. Like many long ball hitters though, putting was not Ken’s forte. Although many golfers struggle with their conscious a bit when accepting a gimmee, I remember one of my friends once saying, “You never have to tell Herme twice to pick a putt up.” The truth is the ball would be in his pocket before you finished the phrase, “That’s good.” With a big smile on his face! Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: Flying on Dirty Boulevard

Lindbloom_2015Mar21_pic1New York, New York – A Tale of Two Teams

“Give me your hungry, your tired your poor I’ll piss on them
that’s what the Statue of Bigotry says
Your poor huddled masses, let’s club ‘em to death
and get it over with, and just dump ‘em on the boulevard.” – Lou Reed

By Rich Lindbloom

Chicago has had the moniker, “Second City” for as long as I can remember. Following is an excerpt from Wikipedia that describes some possible originations for the always second best label:

“Second City:

For decades, Chicago was second to New York in city population rankings and New Yorker magazine writer Abbott J. Liebling used the term as a title for his 1950s tongue-in-cheek book titled, Chicago: The Second City. The book was not well received. Today, Chicago is actually the third largest city in the United States following New York and Los Angeles. Read more »

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Hawks edge Panthers 3-2, but need a shootout; Kane leaves game with major injury

By Brad Vandenberk

After suffering an embarrassing loss on home ice against the Bruins on Sunday afternoon, the Blackhawks shifted the focus on Tuesday to the Florida Panthers, who are battling for a playoff spot, and would love to take full advantage of a depleted Hawks squad.

Scott Darling was recalled from Rockford on Sunday night with Joakim Nordstrom. Ryan Hartman and Antti Raanta were sent back down to what seemed to be a salary type move. Which can only mean one thing. Nothing, it means nothing. Darling was then signed to a 2 year contract extension.

Darling was also named the started for this game helping the Hawks edge the Panthers 3-2 in a shootout. Jonathan Toews and Kris Versteeg were the goal scorers with Patrick Sharp lending a hand in the shootout. This would be the last game for this 8 game home stand recording 3-3-2. Read more »

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