Blackhawks to institute 'fan initiatives'

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Blackhawks to institute 'fan initiatives'

As the lockout came to its merciful end late Saturday night, the focus was back on hockey, back on training camps and upcoming regular-season schedules.

And for many teams front offices, its also about mending fences with fans who were frustrated, disillusioned and downright angry with four NHL-free months. On Sunday, Blackhawks president John McDonough said the team was looking at ways to help bridge that gap again.

McDonough said the team is developing some fan initiatives, and that they will be unveiled later this week. McDonough joined general manager Stan Bowman and coach Joel Quenneville at a press conference today, opening day of the Blackhawks brief training camp.

There are some fan initiatives that will be introduced later in the week, some things were tying up right now. (Executive vice president Jay Blunk) and his group have been working on it for weeks and we think its a very good plan, said McDonough, who didnt divulge details past that.

Several other NHL teams have already installed fan incentives. The Pittsburgh Penguins are offering free select concession items and half off all merchandise at their first four home games. Bruins fans can get free vouchers for various concession, as well as 25 percent off team merchandise 30 percent for season ticket-holders during January home games.

McDonough said the waiting list for season tickets rose by 250. He added that the Blackhawks werent overwhelmed by fan anger during the lockout. But, for those who are upset, were going to do whatever we can to win them back.

The Blackhawks fan base likely didnt take too big of a hit, season ticket wait-list boost aside. But there are hurt feelings nonetheless from the lockout, and the team hopes to ease some of that angst this week.

Its important to us to make sure that we give our fan base a real purpose. Its based on a commitment of consistent excellent and doing everything we can to put a winning team on the ice. But there are certainly other things well be doing later this week to announce a further fan commitment.

Which current Blackhawks would Jeremy Roenick like to play with?

Which current Blackhawks would Jeremy Roenick like to play with?

Is there anyone who wouldn't want to play with Patrick Kane?

Jeremy Roenick joined In The Loop on Wednesday to discuss which current Blackhawks he would like to play with, and naturally, the reigning MVP topped his list.

"He would be my No. 1 choice," Roenick said. "There's no question about it."

But Roenick said there are two more Blackhawks he would like to lace them up with.

"I wouldn't mind playing with (Artemi) Panarin also," he said. "I would love to play with Jonathan Toews. I think I'd play well with all three of them."

Roenick also gave high praise to coach Joel Quenneville, saying he is one of the best coaches in all of sports. Roenick even compared Quenneville to "the Bill Belichick of hockey."

See what else the Roenick had to say in the video above.

Hawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks' bottom six steps up in Colorado

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AP

Hawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks' bottom six steps up in Colorado

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Jamal Mayers discuss the bottom six carrying the Blackhawks to a come-from-behind win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

Later, Mayers weighs in on possible targets with the NHL trade deadline just six weeks away.

Listen to the latest episode of the Hawks Talk Podcast below: