318 players submitted answers to the annual questionnaire, written by the staff of Hockey Night in Canada and the National Hockey League Player’s Association.
Joel Quenneville, who some Blackhawks fans were screaming to have fired as little as eight days ago, saw his league-wide player approval rating in the “Coach players would most like to play for” category increase from 6 percent in the 2010-11 player poll to 11% this season. Quenneville placed second to Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma, who again received 21% of votes cast in the category.
In last year’s poll, 11% of players indicated the Chicago Blackhawks as the team they would most-like to play for, putting the Blackhawks in a tie for second with the Vancouver Canucks. This time around the Blackhawks received the most votes supplanting the Detroit Red Wings who topped the category a year ago. 14% of players responding indicated the Blackhawks were the team they’d most-like to play on. Detroit slid into second-place with a slight drop at 13% of the votes. Boston came in 3rd taking 11% of the votes, also the biggest one-year jump of any NHL team. Read more »
First off, the Blackhawks have indicated that Brent Seabrook will play tonight in Pittsburgh when Chicago meets the injury-plagued Penguins.
NHL head of discipline Brendan Shanahan suspended Calgary Flames’ winger Rene Bourque two games for his check from behind on Brent Seabrook in Sunday’s game at United Center.
Bourque, a close friend of Seabrook’s, drove the Blackhawks’ defenseman head first into the glass along the boards inside Chicago’s zone with 4:35 remaining in the opening period of a 4-2 Hawks victory.
Seabrook appeared to be momentarily knocked out after his head was driving into the glass just above the boards, the area of the glass with the least give. Seabrook was able to get up under his own power and skate off the ice, but he was ruled out of the game by Blackhawks doctors during the first intermission.
Seabrook has had two known concussion in the past 21 months. The most recent, came on the brutal hit Raffi Torres threw on Seabrook behind the Blackhawks’ net during Game 3 of the 2011 opening round playoff series with Vancouver. Read more »
Stan Bowman was interviewed on ChicagoBlackhawks.com’s podcast, Blackhawks Insider, in audio posted on Monday. A portion of Bowman’s conversation with Adam Kempenaar is transcribed here.
“The Blackhawks Way of playing hockey”
One piece of news coming out of the audio portion pertained to July’s prospect camp. Bowman is inviting fewer players and there will be less scrimmage time. He’s looking at this year as less of a tryout (or evaluation) camp and more of a development camp. They’re experimenting with a different ideas at the assistance and suggestion of Joel Quenneville and the coaching staff. Bowman said there will be a bigger focus on “skills they’re going to need to have in order to eventually play for us.” Just the idea of fewer players would seem to indicate one scrimmage per day instead of two. On the topic of scrimmages, Bowman said “we are certainly going to have some of those but it was predominately scrimmages in the past.”
On the talent pool in this year’s draft, Bowman is optimistic that there is enough that he’ll get “good” future NHLers but he doesn’t see high-end goaltenders in this draft, which is consistent with the scouting reports. Bowman said they “don’t necessarily have a one position” they’re focusing on. He said in the past they had holes at center and defense but felt they’ve addressed those in the past couple of years. He said he hadn’t had talks with any GM’s on moving up or trading down, but revealed those discussions between GM’s don’t typically come into play until the week and days leading into the draft. He said they’re working at getting the best group of picks, regardless of position.
That taken, the Hawks are very weak on the depth chart at right wing. Jeremy Morin is better on the left side. Kyle Beach and Igor Makarov can play either. Beach is probably better on the left but his game is a little far off to say for sure. Makarov could Rockford’s top right wing by default if Morin and Beach keep to their off wing.
Longer-range, Bowman shared his thoughts and is high on Justin Holl’s skating ability; the toning down of Stephen Johns and Kevin Hayes taking the next step.
–Conflicting reports now coming out of Canada on the search for a new Winnipeg coach. Today’s Winnipeg Sun is reporting there will be a second-round of interviews with finalists Claude Noel and Mike Haviland. Read more »
You can put your pencils and notepads down. The only thing left to learn about these 2010-11 Chicago Blackhawks is how bad the “core” wants to win at this point. Too, how far they can drag the dead weight Stan Bowman has anchored to what remains of the 2010 Stanley Cup champs.
One look at Cpt. Scowl-face and the ever-present expression tells the story. This team can’t accomplish much if 50, 19, 10, 88, 2 and 7 aren’t hovering near perfection. Throw Marian Hossa into the mix and you might have something, but those who remember last spring and have paid close attention this season should know better than to count on him.
Brian Campbell has sacrificed some offense to be a little more dependable in his own end. He’s needed to. His partner for most of the season, Niklas Hjalmarsson, has been a mess for the most part. Good luck out East next year Nik. Campbell’s plus-28 rating is second best in the NHL right now. It’s a little misleading since his pairing draws the opposition’s secondary scoring line, but that’s no different than last year and Campbell’s offensive production has remained steady and his defense has improved, while Duncan Keith has gone backwards in both cases.
It’s about time we call a spade for what it is. Outside of the aforementioned, adding Dave Bolland and maybe Troy Brouwer, there’s a bunch of guys in this locker room who should consider themselves lucky to be Blackhawks for the time being. Read more »
Less than half of current NHL players recently participated in a voluntary poll presented by the National Hockey League Player’s Association and the CBC television network in Canada. Of the 318 players who did return surveys, 11% identified the Chicago Blackhawks as the team they’d most-like to play for. And 7% choose the United Center as their favorite arena to play in.
Duncan Keith, the reigning Norris Trophy award winner, finished 5th in the category of toughest defenseman to play against. Keith received three percent of the votes in that query. Patrick Sharp ranked 3rd in the most-underrated player category, tied with New Jersey center Travis Zajac with each receiving 3.5% of votes. That’s something of an arbitrary category. Frans Nielsen, who got the 2nd most votes for most-underrated, is a sneaky-skilled player but he’s not in the league of Sharp or Dallas Stars winger Loui Eriksson, who led the voting by a slim margin over Nielsen (5 goals, 16 assists, 43gp).
In Joel Quenneville, the Blackhawks have the league’s 5th most desired coach, according to players polled. Quenneville received 6% of votes tallied, behind Guy Boucher (8%), Dave Tippett (8%), Mike Babcock (18%) and Dan Bylsma (21%). Bylsma was obviously aided by how well he came off in the HBO 24/7 series.
Here’s the entire list of questions and top vote getters: Read more »