Blackhawks' brass give back for Thanksgiving

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Blackhawks' brass give back for Thanksgiving

ROMEOVILLE -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville knows where he normally is this time of year.

Wed probably be in San Jose today with the Circus Trip, maybe Las Vegas in the middle, said Quenneville.

Yes, normally this would be the time for traveling and playing. But for the Blackhawks brass, on Day 66 of the NHL lockout, it was a day of giving back.

Quenneville, team president John McDonough, general manager Stan Bowman and others were at the DuPage Township Food Pantry for the Blackhawks food drive there on Tuesday. From directing traffic to handing out food, the Blackhawks welcomed the opportunity to give back.

This has been on our schedule for quite a while, McDonough said. Its great to see everyone in the organization doing this together. Its in the spirit of what were trying to do.

It was the first food drive the Blackhawks have done with the DuPage Township Food Pantry, which serves more than 500 families a month.

They do an unbelievable job 365 days of the year, Blackhawks color analyst Eddie Olczyk said of the pantry. All the help, all the volunteers, all the corporate sponsors that help out, its the least that I can do and our family can do. But to be part of it with the Blackhawks and all the people who work here on a yearly basis, its more than our pleasure.

No, theres still no hockey. No Circus Trip, which the Blackhawks would be in the midst of right now. But there are still reasons to be thankful, and still good causes to give time and energy to.

Its fun to be a part of it, said Quenneville, who helped load boxes of food into families cars. Im excited to be in Chicago for Thanksgiving. Its a special time of year. All the sharing, giving, appreciate, it comes with a great day.

Kevin Dineen to stay on Blackhawks' staff as Avalanche hire Jared Bednar

Kevin Dineen to stay on Blackhawks' staff as Avalanche hire Jared Bednar

The Blackhawks' coaching staff will be intact for the 2016-17 season.

Two weeks after Patrick Roy abruptly resigned as head coach, the Colorado Avalanche officially picked Jared Bednar to be his replacement over Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen, who was among the favorites for the coaching vacancy.

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Bednar has no National Hockey League coaching experience, but did guide the Columbus Blue Jackets' American Hockey League affiliate to a 15-2 postseason record last season en route to the franchise's first Calder Cup championship.

Retaining Dineen is good news for the Blackhawks, who start training camp next month, but it goes without saying that Dineen is certainly deserving of a second crack at a head coaching position in the near future.

Dineen, Mike Kitchen and head coach Joel Quenneville will enter their third season together after helping the Blackhawks capture a Stanley Cup in their first year as a group in 2015.

Jonathan Toews named Team Canada alternate captain for World Cup of Hockey

Jonathan Toews named Team Canada alternate captain for World Cup of Hockey

Jonathan Toews was named alternate captain of Team Canada on Thursday for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.

Sidney Crosby was named Team Canada’s captain. Crosby, who claimed his second Stanley Cup in June, was also Team Canada’s captain en route to the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

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Toews, who has been the Blackhawks’ captain since the 2008-09 season, was also alternate captain of Canada’s 2014 Olympic squad. Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens will serve as Team Canada’s other alternate captain.

Duncan Keith won't play for Team Canada in World Cup of Hockey

Duncan Keith won't play for Team Canada in World Cup of Hockey

Duncan Keith will not be part of the Blackhawks’ World Cup of Hockey contingent after all.

Keith will focus on improving his health rather than play for Team Canada in the tournament, which takes place next month in Toronto. The Blackhawks released a statement regarding Keith on Wednesday afternoon.

"As Duncan continues offseason rehabilitation on the right knee injury that he sustained last season, we understand his decision not to participate in next month’s World Cup of Hockey," team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in the statement. "We believe it is in his best interests to focus on getting stronger and not risk further injury."

Keith had surgery on that knee last October and was sidelined about one month.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will take Keith’s place.