Friday, April 1, 2011
Posted: 12:15 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
COLUMBUS, Ohio The Chicago Blackhawks look to get back in the win column and put distance between themselves and their Western Conference followers when they play the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Nationwide Arena.
The Blackhawks enter tonight in eighth place with 90 points and will remain there regardless of whether they win or lose tonight. But with a victory they would move within one point of seventh-place Anaheim (93). They could also distance themselves from idle Dallas, which is three points back.
Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention Thursday in Washington, could play spoiler. But theyll be without captain Rick Nash, whos sidelined by an undisclosed injury. Mathieu Garon will start in goal for Columbus.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.
Devin Hester is hitting the market.
The Atlanta Falcons announced Tuesday that they have released the kick return specialist after a two-year run with the team.
The former Bear holds the NFL record for most return touchdowns with 20. Hester left the Bears — after eight seasons — tied with Deion Sanders at 19.
On Sept. 18, 2014, Hester broke that record with the Falcons on a 62-yard punt return against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Prime Time gave Hester this shoutout afterwards:
Hester only played in five games last season due to a turf toe injury. He underwent foot surgery in January 2016.
Former Bears defensive end Corey Wootton announced his retirement on Tuesday after a six-year NFL career.
The 28-year-old released this statement on his Twitter page:
[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
Wootton spent his first four seasons in Chicago before going to the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions for one-year stints in 2014 and 2015.
Wootton had the best years of his career in 2012 and 2013, his final two seasons with the Bears. He played in all 16 games both seasons and combined for 10 sacks, 48 tackles and three forced fumbles.
Wootton was selected by the Bears in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
The Blackhawks and David Rundblad have mutually agreed to terminate the defenseman’s contract, as generalfanager.com reported on Monday night.
With the contract terminated, the Blackhawks will not carry any type of Rundblad-related cap hit. If the Blackhawks had bought out Rundblad, they would have carried a $133,333 cap hit this season and a $183,333 the next season.
Per generalfanager.com, the Blackhawks now have approximately $2.3 million in cap space.
Rundblad was placed on waivers on July 1. The defenseman spent part of the 2015-16 season playing in Switzerland. He returned to the Blackhawks last spring and played in three of the team’s seven playoff games against the St. Louis Blues.
But Rundblad could never find a consistent place in the Blackhawks’ lineup. General manager Stan Bowman talked in July of Rundblad wanting a fresh start.
“He’s still a young guy, wants to get back to playing a lot of hockey and that’s why he wanted to go to Europe mid-season. We were willing to honor that request. We’ll let him find a spot where he knows he’ll be a regular player every day,” Bowman said in July. “He has a bright future. We wish him well. But it’s hard as a guy trying to establish yourself in the NHL if you don’t play a lot of minutes. But I think we’ll see David back in the NHL in a few years. I think he wants to find a better fit where he’ll play a lot.”