Deadline Day: More on The Core

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Deadline Day: More on The Core

Stan Bowman addressed whats been his top priority the last couple of months. The question is whether thats all his team needs now. A lot of Blackhawks fans feel they needed more, based on recent returns.

Whats clear is the Vice President and General Manager is putting his faith in the same core that led the team to the Stanley Cup two years ago to get the team consistently back on track, finish strong and be a playoff force. Hes putting his faith in Jonathan Toews getting back on the ice soon, as well as members of the supporting cast hes assembled to step up their games.

Theyre even more on their own physically for the rest of the season with their big bodyguard dealt away in their only other trade.

Though he probably shopped around and wished another part or two wouldve been easier to pry loose, the prices that were paid for those that moved were fairly steep. Some might argue the second- and third-round picks he sacrificed for Johnny Oduya may have been too much. But the current four-point cushion his team has between being in, or out of, the playoffs with 18 games left is all on the current group.

From kids like Jimmy Hayes, Dylan Olsen and Andrew Shaw, to veterans Andrew Brunette, Bryan Bickell, Michael Frolik and Viktor Stalberg stepping up more consistently and the stars needing to play more like stars. Not to mention the goalies needing to stop the pucks they see, he had to make a call whether he wanted to sacrifice a first-rounder, or a Hayes, Olsen, Brandon Saad or Mark McNeill for a new piece to the supporting cast that may or may not make a greater difference.

Disgruntled Hawks fans believe the team needs a shakeup. Bowman chose to stay the course, but probably saw what the rest of us saw over the weekend: They need to be a lot better. He believes they will be.

Sellers were few. Prices were high. It was patience over pulling the trigger, which is difficult for those impatient after watching them lose 12 of 16 since leading the league, slipping to sixth place and seeing their playoff margin for error shrink with a brutal schedule down the stretch to understand.

Hes expecting his group to respond. Now its up to them and the coaching staff to get back on track and prove him right.

Eric Semborski gets his own hockey card as Blackhawks' emergency goalie

Eric Semborski gets his own hockey card as Blackhawks' emergency goalie

Eric Semborski lived out his childhood dream by calling himself a National Hockey League goaltender for one day, and he will never forget it.

Now there's proof nobody will.

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Topps revealed Wednesday that it has produced a trading card for the 23-year-old after he signed a one-day contract on an amateur tryout basis to serve as the emergency backup goaltender for the Blackhawks in Saturday's contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.

While he didn't see any action, Semborski said after the game that absorbing shots during warmups from some of the best players in the league was “the best 20 minutes of my life.”

Add this to the memory bank of a story that keeps getting better.

Jonathan Toews donates $1 million to community center in Winnipeg

Jonathan Toews donates $1 million to community center in Winnipeg

Jonathan Toews was the highest paid player in the NHL this past year, and he's giving back to the community that helped him become one of the best players in the league.

The Blackhawks captain donated $1 million to the Dakota Community Centre in Winnipeg, where he was born and raised, making it the largest ever private donation to a community centre in Manitoba.

“From my earliest days playing hockey, Dakota Community Centre has always played a pivotal role in my upbringing and my career," Toews said in a statement. “Today, I continue to be honoured to have my name associated with the Sportsplex on the Dakota campus. My parents have instilled in me the importance of giving back, and I believe that in supporting Dakota, we will see endless possibilities for the Community Centre’s future and transformation in the lives of our community members.”

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Toews will also serve as the honorary chairman for the Dakota Futures Capital Campaign, which will support the construction of a new 60,000-square-foot, $20-million fieldhouse and future development of the campus.

The fieldhouse will include a 30,000-square-foot gymnasium that will contain multiple court sports, such as basketball and volleyball, sport training and conditioning, all of which will be connected to the Jonathan Toews Sportsplex. It's expected to open in the fall of 2017.

The Sportsplex was named in Toews' honor in 2010, and includes two indoor ice rinks, a gymnasium, and strength training facilities, among others.

“We are so proud that Jonathan has chosen to give back to the community in this way," said Toews' parents Andrée Gilbert and Bryan Toews. "Our family has such fond memories of hockey practices and friendships made at the Dakota Community Centre. We look forward to the opening of the new Fieldhouse and the continued growth of the Dakota  campus. Through programs for all ages and acting as a gathering place in our community, the Dakota Community Centre transforms thousands of lives each year."