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.